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Was 2013 a bad year for President Obama?

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

Was 2013 a bad year for President Obama?

By Roger Caldwell

“Obamacare really represents the single, biggest instance of consumer fraud in the nation’s history. And the American people are increasingly led to the conclusion they cannot trust this Administration to say what it means or mean what it says,” said GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas.

It is very easy to argue with the senator about his statement, but everyone in the country would agree that 2013 was a very rocky year for the President and his Administration. The entire year was filed with controversies and scandals, and the ACA rollout started out as one huge mess. At this time, President Obama’s poll numbers are at an all time low, and the question is, “How low will they go?”

Without a doubt, the president has provided the country with false or misleading information on many different occasions this year. The Republicans are calling President Obama’s false promises that if you have health insurance, you will be able to keep it, as the biggest “lie of the year.”

On October 1, when the government website HealthCare went live, the government was also starting a federal shutdown. The shutdown lasted for 16 days and initially either one of the parties and the President would not talk to each other. As federal workers were furloughed from their jobs, the insurance companies were sending cancellation notices to individual policy holders.

It was obvious that things were not going as planned because a couple weeks before the launch, the President was bragging that getting health insurance under the ACA would be as easy as shopping on Instead, the government website was dysfunctional, and there were error messages, shutdowns, and everyone was mad and angry. It appeared to Americans that the President and his team had no idea what they were doing.

But this was not the first time that President Obama had to scramble to clean up incompetent officials, confusion and leaks. To start with there was the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked thousands of classified documents that showed the government spied on its own people, and allies such as Brazil, France, Mexico, and Germany. These surveillance programs created riffs in the Democratic base, and many Republicans were asking, “What else is the president hiding?”

In May 2013, an inspector general report showed the IRS targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny of application for tax-exempt status. The Republicans are calling it a conspiracy, but an internal investigation found no evidence of wrong-doing. Nevertheless, it got into the news media and the administration had to create talking points to defend the President.

When it rains, it pours. Now many African Americans leaders are beginning to attack the President, because they feel they have been taken for granted. Many African Americans believe there has been a wealth transformation in the country after the recession, and the government is supporting corporate welfare. African Americans are angry because 97 percent of Blacks voted for the President, but our communities are in worse shape than ever before.

Many African Americans are accusing President Obama of being more concerned with white affairs, and other races’ problems. President Obama is under assault from all sides, but he has three years to make good on his promises.

The economy is improving and strengthening, and he appears to be bringing America’s longest war to an end. The website is working better and it appears that almost two million Americans will register for healthcare by the end of the year. There has been more bipartisan politics in the last two months in Congress, and there is hope in 2014, that there will be more.

If the President is able to smooth out the sharp edges and the legislators start talking to each other, collaboration can work in 2014. Being the first Black President of America is no easy task, but I believe President Obama is up to the challenge.

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