This is a very balanced look at a recent poll which showed Americans believe President Obama is the worst post-WWII president. David Shribman points out that Obama may succeed where other presidents did; roundly disliked as they leave office but time healed the public's perception of them. This could happen, for the reasons he suggests. And it might not.
Certainly Shribman is right that American's judgments aren't final. But he argues that flattering literary works helped restore other presidential reputations. Those presidents, Truman and Eisenhower, didn't have a media working overtime during their presidencies to try to preserve their legacies. Obama does. And as fawning as the media is now, you can believe there will be no want for authors willing to fortify the Obama legacy.
That won't work, however, if America is damaged more badly when Obama leaves office than it was when any other post WWII president departed. The gold standard for this, of course, is Richard Nixon. The country was split in two because of the Watergate scandal. But what appeared to be a fissure was really only superficial because it was entirely political.
Democrats are trying to claim that the Obama ranking is due to politics; it isn't. The country's fundamentals are as weak as they have ever been:
- The economy hasn't bounced back
- The humanitarian crisis at the border may pass, but it might do so without the immigration issue being addressed
- President Obama is, in fact, the worst foreign policy president in post-war history. And that horrible policy may just be planting the seeds of a weaker America. If the damage is permanent, so too will be the damage to Obama's reputation.
American judgments are indeed not final. But if the damage to America inflicted by Obama is permanent, so too will be that judgement.