How Will the Obama Legacy Age?

While he’s gallivanting around with billionaires, we need to face the fact that his ideology and decisions helped lead us to where we are

Mitchell Peterson
6 min readNov 13, 2021


Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash

This might be an unpopular opinion on my side of the aisle, but I don’t think the Obama legacy is going to age well. We are living through insane times. From a dozen cities burning during the largest protest in American history in the summer of 2020 to January 6th, the country is in a bad spot. And there was a time, back in ’08, where we could have taken a different path. Had there been a different team at the helm, we probably wouldn’t be here now.

The farther we get from his presidency and the more America slides into chaos, more and more people are asking themselves, how did we get here? And why didn’t those eight years change anything? It was the heart of the Great Recession, he ran on ‘hope and change,’ and the desire for something big was there, but instead, those two terms helped push the country into this unprecedented cynicism and division.

Of course, Obama was a historic president and handled the unbelievable scrutiny of being the first black president in a way only Obama could. He was as cool as a cucumber in the face of empty dog-whistle attacks and “tan suit” controversies. And no president can snap their fingers and magically change the country.

But the more I read about the decisions his administration made, the more disappointed I am. David Sirota has just launched a new podcast series called, The Meltdown, and shows, in excruciating detail, the ’08 crisis and how every move the White House made was catastrophically wrong in a political, economic, and historic sense.

It wasn’t always ‘Republicans made us do it.’ There were horrific decisions made with executive power, control of DC, their advisors, their flawed ideology, and their donors in mind.

Decisions that could have been different, could have had the people front and center, and could have helped us avoid our current downward spiral.

The Obama presidency helped lead directly to the Trump debacle, and Obama himself, in an attempt to salvage his legacy, keeps weighing in on the wrong side of history.



Mitchell Peterson

Freelance writer who spent nine years outside the US, currently in rural America writing the Substack bestseller 18 Uncles.