Lynn professor gives Obama a 4 out of 5 for his first two years

“Obama pushed through some pieces of legislation,” said Watson, “but his party was beaten handedly in the midterm elections.”

Published Jan. 24, 2011

Robert Watson, B.S., M.P.A., Ph.D.At the end of the midterm elections, and two years into Barack Obama’s presidency, Lynn University American Studies professor Robert Watson reviewed Obama’s progress. On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the best), Watson gave Obama a 4 for his first two years.

Although Obama’s approval ratings are low and “his party was beaten handedly in the midterm elections,” Watson affirms that Obama has been successful at pushing through several pieces of legislation including:

  • healthcare reform
  • stimulus package
  • bank/financial rescue initiative
  • auto industry rescue

“It’s common for a president’s approval rating to drop over the course of his time in office,” said Watson. “This has happened for several presidents, just as it is common for a president’s party to lose seats in midterm elections.”

In fact, Democrat presidents Harry Truman in 1946 and Bill Clinton in 1994 both lost Congress to Republicans in the midterm elections. “Both Truman and Clinton handled the loss brilliantly,” said Watson. “They did not oppose Republicans on all issues. Rather, they picked the right battles to oppose and compromised on other necessary fronts.”

In Watson’s opinion, with Republicans in charge of the House, Obama should focus on pushing through popular centrist initiatives that help the middle class and prevent governmental gridlock.

“Compromise will be key for Obama’s success in 2012,” Watson said. “His two biggest challenges are to move forward on deficit reduction and to create jobs. If he can do both, he has a chance of winning in 2012."

More on Watson:

Robert Watson is a professor, author, media commentator and community activist who joined the faculty of Lynn in 2007 after spending 15 years teaching at other universities around the country. He has published more than 30 books and hundreds of scholarly articles, book chapters, encyclopedia essays and newspaper columns. His work in the community also includes founding and directing Think Act Lead, a non-profit think tank established as a free community service and dedicated to civic education and political reform.

Watson is frequently interviewed about campaigns and elections by local and national TV, print and radio media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, USA Today and The New York Times. Watson also serves as the official political analyst for WPTV Channel 5 (NBC), WIOD 610 News Radio and WFTL 850 Talk Radio. He offers a weekly political roundup for WBZT 1230 on Clear Channel and writes a regular column on politics for the Sun Sentinel.