Friday, February 25, 2011
Obama- Commander in Chief
Obama’s evolution as commander-in-chief during his first year in office largely involved proving that he was up to the job that a 48-year-old former law professor and one-term U.S. senator who campaigned on ending the Iraq war had the resolve to lead the military through some of its toughest years in recent history.
Obama recently came under fire for his initial handling of the Christmas day Terror Plot but his approval ratings on terrorism and foreign policy issues actually outpace his rankings on the domestic policy at the heart of his presidency, the economy and health care, according to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll. A war-weary public did not welcome his decision to add 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, even though it won him praise from Republicans, but he's received good marks for announcing a draw-down in Iraq.
From keeping on as Defensrepublican Robert Gate Secretary to bringing the fist bump to the Naval Academy graduation, Obama has spent considerable time courting the trust of service members from the lowest to highest levels of command and assimilating into his role as head of the military, an institution that is historically skeptical of Democrats.
Obama’s challenge coming into the job was not that he didn’t have experience in the military in terms of making decisions, said Henry William Brands, a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“The problem, to some extent, is selling those decisions,” Brands said. “Because he doesn’t have that military background, he’s seen as less credible on military issues.”
The most visible appearances of Obama as commander in chief are the speeches he’s given at military bases, the visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day and the image of him saluting a flag-draped coffin at Dover Air Force Base.
But much more goes on behind closed doors. When Obama visits a military hospital, aides said, he sits quietly as mothers cry on his shoulder, or he puts on surgical scrubs to pray at the bedside of an unconscious Marine whose injuries are so severe it appears he won’t make it through the week. In class, we have discussed the particular roles of the president. In this blog, it tells of how Barack Obama has evolved as a president.