President Barack Obama’s new memoir, “A Promised Land” was an inside look at the President’s rise from Harvard Law School to becoming the 44th president of the United States of America. The book upwards of 700 pages has some background to his early political aspirations yet ends at the end of his first term as president. I presume he is writing a sequel?
Now, I am not a Democrat. I didn’t vote for Obama. I am a registered Republican but I would say on the whole I am a moderate. Reading President Obama’s book about his unlikely rise and tumultuous first term was inspiring. He was a very smart guy. He went to a great school. He graduated from a top program with a trajectory into politics. I get all that.
Now, when he first came to office he was inheriting a dumpster fire of an economy tanked by sub-prime mortgages with bank bailouts and a government with top US automakers teetering on collapse. While I am averse to the prospect of big government and more regulation, there comes a time when it is necessary for government to step in and put in guard rails to safeguard us from ourselves.
Throughout his memoir, President Obama talks about the people he met, the people who inspired him, and he spoke about what a president should be. A Public Servant, someone who thinks of him or herself second, and those he is in charge of first. His political agenda comes after his concerns for those who put him in the highest office. His Servant Leadership style as a president is how a good leader leads. It was a stark contrast of his predecessor, who seems to constantly lord over the American people with the office entrusted to him.
The ending of the book was a bit weak, talking about the mission in which Navy SEALs took out Osama Bin Laden, and the tactical mission that was broadcast for select high-level officials such as Obama to watch it unfold. But I don’t think I would have wanted more in this already long read.
Other topics Obama covers in the book include strengthening of environmental protection regulations, passing a Universal Healthcare Bill for all Americans, a bill for Dreamers (which didn’t pass through Congress), foreign policy with allies and opponents abroad, the Arab Spring, and the constant wrangling with the Republican party in control of Congress to get common sense policies pushed through.
There was a lot of insight gained in reading this memoir and is the case with most presidents, their legacy seems to grow in the years immediately following his departure from office.