Indiana Daily Student

Students reflect on Obama's first year

One year ago today, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

In the 365 days since, the president’s approval ratings have dropped from their high water mark at 69 percent to 50 percent, according to a Gallup poll. According to another poll by the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor poll, 50 percent of those polled said they would likely or definitely vote for someone else. The poll also indicates that only 39 percent of those polled would vote for a second term for the president.

The president received hits in rating following his decision to send more soldiers into Afghanistan. The often-debated health care bill, which is still in legislation, could be negatively affecting Obama’s polls. Support for the health care reform bill itself is at an all-time low of 38 percent.

Freshman Emily Farra is one of those whose disapproval of the Obama administration stems from her dislike of the health care bill.

“I don’t like the health care thing at all. I don’t think that would help anyone. I know his approval ratings aren’t that good, so I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way.” Farra said. “As far as his first year, I wasn’t totally against him, but right now I feel he misled the public before he entered office.”

Farra said she saw the president presenting himself more of a centrist and considers him “a little too far left.”

Sophomore John Hageman disagrees with Farra on the issue of health care and Obama’s ratings. Hageman hopes that the health care bill will pass and believes that if it does, it will help Obama’s approval ratings.

“I did vote for Obama,” Hageman said. “It’s kind of hard for me to gauge his impact on the nation. He’s definitely not lived up to the whole hype surrounding him. It’s more of our fault that he hasn’t lived up to our expectations because we set them so high.”
Graduate student Michael Dixon agreed in part.

“I think he had obviously a lot of obstacles coming into the presidency that I think are a little bit atypical,” he said, referring to the poor economy.

Dixon also said he believed that the Bush administration did damage to the United States’ reputation in the international community and said Obama has had to repair it.

“That’s maybe made it difficult to push a lot of the things he campaigned for. I think he’s done a good job of changing the face of America in terms of how other countries perceive the country and the United States does business on an international level,” Dixon said. “Hopefully that can continue to be a priority.”

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