Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Why Should I Care About President Obama's Second Term in Office?

Written by Sarah Massey
In mid-January, the DC pundits played down the second inauguration of President Obama. They said that Americans were not as excited by a reelection. They said that Obama had already spent his political capital. No one would care. It wasn’t a big deal.

Girl, they were wrong. Not only did Americans show up to be a part of the recent celebration, the official crowd topped one million. Wow. That tells me that people care, really care about experiencing history in the making. We care about showing support for President Obama. (One million far surpasses the 400,000 former President George Bush drew in 2005.)

The other thing the pundits missed was the enthusiasm for voting this year. Yes, there was a small decline in voting from 2008, but 2008 was also a year in which the Democratic Party had a vast and diverse primary featuring Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Bill Richards, among others. Let’s be real: that was more exciting than the Republican pack of this cycle. Anything would have been more thrilling than the Republican presidential primary.

Do you care? Well, I think you should. I put out an informal Facebook poll to my 1000 friends about why they care about President Obama being in office. The wonky friends pointed to his commitment to pay equity for women and making sure the Supreme Court has liberal voices that will protect women’s right to choose. This President ended two wars, saved Wall Street from complete collapse, and had to wrangle the most obstructionist Congress in modern history.

But, there is something more, something a bit harder to articulate but we all seem to know it. The country has changed. We are more diverse than ever in history. We are motivated. Look at the recent protests, such as Occupy Wall Street, and the turnout for vote that passed so many progressive measures, like marriage equality. Next up: we will see a huge climate action on February 17, and the President made protecting the climate a cornerstone of his inaugural address. President Obama embraces our diversity and is prepared to lead us to a stronger and healthier future.

No matter your politics, this First Family represents the fulfillment of so many dreams. My friend Meghan said it best, “I care because he and Michelle have created a great example for us of a family filled with love, support, achievement, and contribution back to society.”

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