The oratory skills, viral campaigning, and military action that Barack Obama’s presidency has become known for continued in 2011, and his approval rating sank from 48 percent at the beginning of this year to 42 percent at press time (according to Gallup). Regardless, Obama is destined to be legendary not only for the obvious — him being Black and all — but because during the first half of his term, he became the first president to pass national health care and appoint the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court, making this also the first time in history that three women sat as justices. So before embarking upon 2012 (and its voting season), reflect upon what was wrapped up in year three.
SEE ALSO: Take The 2011 News Quiz
In the first month of office, Obama gave a State of the Union address that touted the United States as a place where “we do big things” and called for innovation to spur the flailing economy:
“We’re the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook,” he said.
In the second month of office, Obama appeared on WTMJ in which he called the Wisconsin budget battle an “assault on unions.”
In the third month of office, Obama authorized military action in Libya to assist in stabilizing the country’s Arab Spring civil war (by year’s end, Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed by a civilian army).
In the fourth month of office, Obama announced his reelection bid via an online video, e-mail, and newly designed website:
We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends, he wrote.
In the fifth month of office, Obama unleashed the Special Ops on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani compound, which resulted in the death of the al Qaeda leader.
In the sixth month of office, Obama announced his plans to withdraw one-third of the approximately 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, beginning with the return of 10,000 soldiers to home soil by the end of this year.
In the seventh month of office, Obama met with the Dalai Lama, which Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a written statement was an act that “grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people, and damaged Sino-American relations.”
In the eighth month of office, Obama signed legislation to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and evade a government shut down just hours before the deadline:
This compromise guarantees more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction,” he said. “It is an important first step to ensuring that, as a nation, we live within our means.
In the ninth month of office, Obama delivered a U.N. General Assembly speech, saying that he believes “the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own,” but Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ plan to ask the U.N. Security Council for intervention is not a strategy President Obama supports, because “a genuine peace can only be realized between Israelis and the Palestinians themselves.”
In the tenth month of office, Obama gave a speech at the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial:
An earthquake and a hurricane may have delayed this day, but this is a day that would not be denied. For this day, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s return to the National Mall. In this place, he will stand for all time, among monuments to those who fathered this nation and those who defended it.
In the eleventh month of office, Obama visited an independent book store with daughters Sasha and Malia to celebrate “Small Business Saturday” (they bought “The Phantom Tollbooth” among other interesting reads).
In the twelfth month of office, Obama announced that unemployment may drop to 8 percent by next year’s election. Currently, the rate is 8.6 percent, compared to 9 percent in January.
How you like them pear trees?