Conservatives ask what characteristics describe President Obamas’ leadership and what accomplishments qualify him for reelection. The most prominent attributes associated with his leadership include; confidence, assertiveness, congeniality, ambition, charisma, determination, vision, political courage, moderation, prudence and a deliberative, pragmatic idealism.
By any measure, the Obama administration has an impressive list of accomplishments starting with: steering the country out of an economic depression, the Affordable Care Act which expanded health insurance to thirty million people and has already resulted in costs declining for the first time in years, rescued the auto industry, recovered a profit from the AIG bailout, new Wall Street regulations, a tough new set of consumer protections on the credit card industry. The greatest increase in wilderness protection in fifteen years, a revolutionary reform to student aid and the end to don’t ask, don’t tell. Even as he was bogged down in budget fights with the Tea Party-controlled GOP House, Obama still managed the most sweeping overhaul of food safety laws in more than seventy years. Enacted the Lilly Ledbetter act, immigration policies, middle-class tax cuts, removed restrictions on stem cell research, presided over 29 straight months of job growth and appointed two women to the supreme court, one being the first Latina justice.
More impressively, on foreign policy he ended the war in Iraq, began the drawdown in Afghanistan, helped to oust Gaddafi in Libya, orchestrated new military and commercial alliances as a hedge against China, tightened sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and signed the new START treaty with Russia, and lets not forget he shifted counterterrorism strategies to target Osama bin Laden and then ordered the risky raid that killed him.
All of which suggest that character and leadership is not shaped by the presidency, it simply reveals them.