This December marks the end of President Barack Obama’s presidency.
While Obama has received mixed reviews, as every president has, we believe that no matter how we might feel about his decisions as president, we respect the example of family, integrity and kindness he has led with.
Obama has had moderate approval ratings throughout his presidency — highest with millennials and decreasing through Gen X, Baby Boomers and Silent Gen respectively, according to a Pew Research Center study.
It seems that Americans always have a bad habit of “hating” the president and everything they stand for, but regardless of political views, how can we not admire Obama for his class and commendable traits, especially considering how BYU-Idaho treasures quality character and high standards.
A post was recently popular on social media containing Pete Souza, the official White House photographer’s, favorite photos taken of the president over his time in office.
The candid photos include Obama kissing his wife, letting a child feel his hair, fist-bumping a janitor and more.
These photos exposed a very human element of the president, showing his true character.
In a New York Times article from this February titled “I Miss Barack Obama,” David Brooks, a conservative columnist, wrote about his love for Obama, especially during this bleak presidential race.
“Over the course of this campaign it feels as if there’s been a decline in behavioral standards across the board,” Brooks said. “Many of the traits of character and leadership that Obama possesses, and that maybe we have taken too much for granted, have suddenly gone missing or are in short supply.”
Obama, along with his young family, has maintained integrity throughout his presidency. He hasn’t had any major scandals and has strived to hire people who follow high personal standards, according to Brooks’ column.
Along with integrity, Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, have shown immense kindness and empathy for seemingly every person and situation they have encountered. Where we view political candidates such as Donald Trump, we see unapologetic disrespect and hate crowding around painful events and national tragedies.
Obama has visited mosques, given speeches and connected with his citizens in a way that shows his genuine concern and care for American citizens from all backgrounds.
Over a grueling, tragic and depressing two terms, Obama has, for the most part, upheld his high standards and a sense of hope.
Where BYU-I upholds high standards, we also treasure the family and all it stands for. Obama has emanated a beautiful and uplifting example of a family throughout his time in office.
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” addresses the world, claiming the most important standards a family should uphold.
“We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society,” according to “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
We believe that Obama and his wife and two daughters have shown an excellent example of family throughout the past eight years. He has striven to be a good father to his daughters, Malia and Sasha, who were only 10 and 7 respectively at the beginning of his presidency.
When he was first sworn in as president, he wrote an open letter to his daughters and children everywhere on what he hopes they become. In his letter, he recounts his past and said he hopes all children have equal opportunities to succeed. He said he hopes they maintain high standards, push boundaries, work hard and stay humble.
“These are the things I want for you — to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world,” Obama said. “And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That’s why I’ve taken our family on this great adventure.”
Regardless of our political opinion regard in our soon-to-be-past president, we will lock back with admiration of his character and compassion. We will long for a day when we again have such a commendable and honorable leader of our nation.