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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Grading Obama

HNN recently asked 203 American historians to grade Barack Obama's presidency on an A-F scale.
The results are in: President Barack Obama gets a B-.

Historians graded the president on sixteen different metrics selected by HNN staff. Overall, historians were remarkably consistent in their judgment: Barack Obama was a promising presidential candidate and possesses sterling personal leadership qualities, but his administration has merely been adequate in delivering results. The most highly-praised achievement of President Obama's first term, the Affordable Care Act, was acknowledged in comments by many participants, but nevertheless many expressed disappointment that it did not go far enough.

Participants were also increasingly concerned about the administration's lack of transparency and its prosecution of Bradley Manning (most of the data was assembled before the Edward Snowden story broke).

Many historians were also disillusioned by the partisan gridlock in Washington, although they tend to place the blame largely on congressional Republicans.

Just about the only aspect of Barack Obama's presidency which has received universal praise from historians has been the president's Supreme Court appointments. Both Elena Kagan and especially Sonia Sotomayor are highly respected by academics.