Professor lists Obama accomplishments: Over 244 and growing


Florida Professor Robert P. Watson who teaches American Studies at Lynn University has compiled a list of 244 accomplishments by President Obama since he took office despite fanatical Republican opposition aimed at wrecking his presidency.

The list does not include Obama's decision to halt the tar sands pipeline that would have endangered the Oglalla aquifer in pumping 700,000 gallons daily of the world's dirtiest oil from western Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Prof. Watson, whose specialty is presidential history, began preparing his list back in Nov. 2009 to counter the lies and disinformation spread by the corporate media and the Republican right.

"The misinformation and venom that passes for political reporting and civic debate is beyond description," Dr. Watson wrote. "There is a need to set the record straight." His list then contained 90 plus achievements which he has now updated to 244.

He praised Obama for pushing through measures vital to the national interest not through a "heavy-handed or top down approach" but through efforts to "reach across the aisle, encourage vigorous debate, and utilize town halls and panels of experts in the policy-making process."

On the list (a few have been added by this reporter):

  • Overhauled the food safety system;
  • Approved the Lily Ledbetter "Equal Pay" for women rule;
  • Ended "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" discrimination in the military;
  • Passed the Hate Crimes bill in Congress;
  • Appointed two progressive women to the U.S. Supreme Court including the first Latina;
  • Pushed through the Affordable Health Care Act, outlawing denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, extending until age 26 health care coverage of children under parent's plans, steps toward "Medicare for All;"
  • Expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) health care for children;
  • Pushed through a $789 economic stimulus bill that saved or created 3 million jobs and began task of repairing the nation's infrastructure;
  • Overhauled the credit card industry, making it more consumer friendly;
  • Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and used a recess appointment to keep it on track in the face of GOP attempts to derail it;
  • Also outmaneuvered GOP in naming two members of the National Labor Relations Board blocked by the Republicans in their attempt to shut down the NLRB;
  • Won two extensions of the debt ceiling and extensions of unemployment compensation in the face of Republican threats to shut down the U.S. government;
  • Pulled troops out of Iraq and began draw down of troops in Afghanistan.

Since he prepared the list, it has been posted and reposted on the Internet hundreds of times with scores of bloggers commenting on it and adding to the list.

Writing in Washington Monthly's Political Animal column, blogger Steve Benen, points out that many of Obama's achievements have been won through painful concessions he was forced to make with intransigent Republican obstructionists on Capitol Hill.

The tendency has been to focus on his concessions while ignoring what he won in return. Benen cites the lame duck session of Congress in December 2010 following the disastrous elections a month earlier in which the Democrats lost majority control of the House.

There were predictions that nothing would be achieved in that lame duck, Benen said. "But for all the grief he's gotten over this, its worth keeping in mind that Obama got a helluva lot.... In the end, he got a Food Safety bill, passage of the START Treaty, a stimulus package, repeal of ‘don't ask/don't tell' and a First Responder bill" that provided health coverage for firefighters, police officers and other workers injured during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Incredibly, the Republicans tried to block it.

Obama was forced to make the same concession just before Christmas, yielding on his repeated demands for termination of a trillion in tax cuts for the rich in order to win approval of an increase in the debt ceiling and extension of jobless benefits for five million unemployed workers.

Yielding on tax cuts for the rich hurt those fighting for tax justice. But there is little doubt that those hard pressed, if not desperate unemployed workers, viewed this as an "accomplishment" and Obama deserves full credit.

Under a headline, "Who is Washington's Most Effective Politician?" Benen scoffs at those who pick Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell's job was "easy," Benen writes. He twisted Senate rules to make himself "Obstructionist in Chief." No, he says, Obama is the most skillful, "perhaps the most effective politician since LBJ" for winning that long list of victories in the face of unprecedented obstruction, lies, and misinformation.

Plenty of voters are now preparing lists for themselves of Obama's accomplishments as they work to insure he wins a second term next Nov. 6.


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  • What about drones? Guantanamo? The Patriot Act? FISA? Renditions?

    Posted by Michael Ames, 08/23/2012 5:06pm (3 years ago)

  • Are you people out of your mind? Oduma is a miserable failure....

    Posted by Barry Oduma, 08/22/2012 10:59am (3 years ago)

  • I am so glad you are tracking President Obama's accomplishments, Tim. Thanks! I've bookmarked your site prior and also want to thank you for interviewing and taking a photo of me at the Jobs rally on Capital Hill (after the Rebuild the Dream conference), which you included in an earlier blog.

    Posted by Kim Doyle Wille, 07/23/2012 3:41pm (3 years ago)

  • $787 Billion dollar stimulus divided by 3 million jobs (a number than can't be confirmed since they throw in the term "saved or created") = $262K dollars per job. Not a very strong number to brag about, would you say? He's still trying to deflect from HIS economic numbers. It is his economy now, isn't it? Economic numbers have gotten significantly worse since Nancy Pelosi became majority leader in Congress in 2006, check the numbers for yourself.

    Posted by Not Really, 07/17/2012 11:12am (3 years ago)

  • While there have been some accomplishments, I would not say that everything on this list is an accomplishment.

    There is no affordable health care act, just a messy law that figures out who is going to pay for the out of control system.

    The economy, well that has not turned the corner. Corporations are showing better profits because they are sending work offshore to increase profits. The American worker is still suffering.

    Posted by Andy, 05/10/2012 1:13pm (3 years ago)

  • A president who came from humble beginnings. He's sharp, decisive, funny, and a respected world leader (Just not the Republicans in this country) With the economic fiasco created by the bankers we have continued to slowly recover. Led the search and destroy mission to dismantle the world's leading terrorist and his organization all the while showing leadership and a steady hand. It's a no brainer who to vote for in the next Presidential election.

    Posted by Mark Bernards, 04/30/2012 10:48pm (3 years ago)

  • Can someone tell me how is it possible for the 1 percent of Repulicans wealthiest people get the rest of the 49 percent of repulicans (that are not even close to the 1 percenters wealth)feel as though they are fighting for them?

    Posted by kquawn, 04/27/2012 3:12pm (3 years ago)

  • The writer of the above article fails to give us in his article the list that the professor created, or where we can see it online. It's not clear if his list has been posted anywhere online yet.

    Here's one link to a crowd-sourced list of 400+ of Obama's accomplishments from somewhere else on the Internet:

    I have not looked yet, but it would be interesting to see if the writer of this article or the professor have thought of additional accomplishments by Obama on their lists that do not yet appear on the list at the URL. If so, please add them to the list at this URL!

    Posted by Eric, 04/13/2012 10:18pm (3 years ago)

  • I have to question this professors degree? How is passing a health care bill that 65% of Americans did not want an accomplishment? How is raising the depth ceiling helping the future? What has the stimulus bill done for Americans? And as far as the two appointees to The United States Superme Court, the one has admitted in a thesis that she believes that courts make the laws. And we wonder why this country is falling apart. Great accomplishments President Obama!

    Posted by CrazyDT, 03/07/2012 9:13am (3 years ago)

  • What a shame on Republicans for holding the recovery of this country hostage with their prejudiced hateful fabrications directed at Obama .
    Most can now see through their desperate struggle to regain control of the white house

    Posted by John Adamski, 02/14/2012 10:23pm (3 years ago)

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