I think I’ve started to grow fond of President Obama. I didn’t really like him when he was first elected. I liked him less as time went by. I was then pretty baffled by his being reelected (really, out of 300 million people in the U.S., we’re saying this is the best we can do?). But now I think I’ve kinda gotten used to him after his six years in office. So let’s look at Obama’s positives and pick out his twelve biggest accomplishments of 2014.
OBAMA’S 12 BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF 2014
1. Had very few movies blocked by North Korea. More than 99% of the movies scheduled for release this year were not blocked from release by North Korea. So if you don’t like your viewing habits to be decided by murderous dictators, then you have to be mainly pretty happy with President Obama’s record on this.
2. Took almost six years to start his own conflict in Iraq. What’s the single hardest thing for an American president to do? That’s right: not start a new conflict in Iraq. Well, President Obama didn’t just jump into one; he was well into his second term before he started airstrikes against ISIS. He really tried not to start a new conflict there, but like I said, it’s apparently very difficult to avoid.
3. Didn’t burn the White House down. This is a pretty big one. When you’re a new president, the first thing they tell you when you move into the White House is: “This is a very historical, very important house. Don’t burn it down.” Like when the White House got burned down on James Madison’s watch, any time he went to that special clubhouse only for U.S. presidents after that, none of the other presidents would talk to him anymore. Well, the White House is still standing. Knowing Obama’s record, I’ve kinda always expected to see breaking news of “We regret — but aren’t surprised — to report that the White House is on fire.” Well, I guess that’s not how I see breaking news anymore; I more expect “#WhiteHouseFire” to suddenly start trending on Twitter. But it hasn’t happened. And Joe Biden has tried to microwave tin foil a couple of times, but the Secret Service is now very alert to keep him out of the kitchen.
4. Fewer annoying speeches. Obama has made a habit of interrupting our TV shows with completely pointless speeches that never assure anyone or accomplish anything. It seems like he’s done very little of that this year. Or maybe the networks just stopped carrying them. Then again, I don’t really watch network TV. What I do know for certain is that he never interrupted anything I watched on the Netflix.
5. We didn’t all die from Ebola. President Obama assured us that Ebola was not a big deal, and I reacted as many do to Obama’s assurances — “Oh no! We’re all going to die from Ebola!” But we did not all die from Ebola. Obama’s assurances were actually true. I don’t know if that’s a “stopped clock” phenomenon or if he actually has a few advisors who aren’t just braindead cronies, but hey, he got this one right.
6. Some Democrats got reelected. There was some worry that President Obama’s dismal performance and his signature legislation that angered basically everyone who has health insurance was going to sink all the Democrats, but no, a few here and there were able to eke out reelection.
7. The economy has done not-super-bad. These days, a not-super-bad economy is basically a good economy. An actually good, booming economy is such a distant memory that it’s like talking about Narnia, so we’ll really settle for not horrible. President Obama often talks about “pivoting to jobs,” and that always makes businesses cringe. It’s like a enthusiastic ten-year-old with a sledgehammer talking about fixing your car engine. He means well, but no — keep him away. But for the most part, Obama just ignored the economy this year, and it did a lot better as a result. I’m still employed, at least.
8. Cheap gas. Man, gas has gotten cheaper. Now, as far as I can tell, this is almost like a failure for President Obama, because it seems like he’s done everything he could to prevent this from happening. He’s stopped new drilling, proposed carbon taxes, and never approved the Keystone pipeline. Yet somehow gas has dropped this winter. Anyway, it happened and I’ll give him credit. I can’t be too picky if I’m going to come up with twelve of these.
9. Racial progress. People thought having a black president in the White House would be different. But with everything that went on in Ferguson and the lack of an indictment in the death of Eric Garner, President Obama has mainly had half-hearted, muted responses, proving that a black president can not care about black people just as well as any white president.
10. Improved his golf game. No crisis has been so big that President Obama has ever neglected to work on improving his handicap. U.S. cities can be burning and foreign countries collapsing, and Obama will be right out there on the green. That’s just the sort of dedication we want in a commander in chief. Maybe not the place we want it, but it’s assuring to know that some sort of drive exists in him somewhere.
11. Said his name right. A lot of people have accidentally said “Osama” when they meant “Obama”, but I’ve never seen President Obama do that himself. He’s always said his name right. And he talks about himself a lot. Yet not one slip.
12. Borders. I checked the Wikipedia, and despite all that’s gone on, the U.S. is still acknowledged as having borders — even if they are largely symbolic now.
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Wow. What a great year for President Obama. Who knows what he’ll do in 2015. Probably burn the White House down. I just know in my gut that’s eventually going to happen.