First Time named President Barack Obama is “Person of the Year” — and now CNN has named him its most “Intriguing Person of the Year.” Who voted? Readers of CNN.com, the news organization’s highly popular website:
A year ago, President Barack Obama was under fire. Today, he is being feted.
In just 12 months, the 51-year-old lawyer and former U.S. senator raised by a single mother went from a beleaguered candidate for re-election — his record and signature health care law under daily attack by Republican rivals — to being the first Democrat to win more than 50% of a presidential vote twice since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Now the nation’s first African-American president is CNN’s Most Intriguing Person of 2012, as voted on by readers of CNN.com, five days after being named Time’s Person of the Year.
Second most intriguing: Malala Yousufzai: The girl the Taliban wanted dead
Explaining Time’s choice, Executive Editor Richard Stengel cited Obama “for finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union.”
Such accolades and results seemed improbable a year ago when Obama’s approval rating hovered in the low 40s while unemployment was 8.5%. History showed that it was rare, if not unprecedented, for an incumbent to win re-election with such figures.
CNN then recounts some of the highs and lows of Obama’s first term and adds:
As the end of his first term approached, Obama’s approval rating topped 50%, and polls showed the public consistently favoring his approach on deficit reduction over Republican positions.
“This one’s more satisfying than ’08,” he told top aides on Election Night, according to the Time cover story on his being named Person of the Year. “It wasn’t just about what I was going to do as president. It’s what I’ve done.”
But it sounds as if Republicans have not read the polls — or don’t want to.
So the question becomes: given that he doesn’t have to run for re-election and is a huge admirer of Abraham Lincoln how far and what will Barack Obama do in his second term to overcome the GOPers standing and blocking his path on issues such as the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling and — I predict — his concept of immigration reform and gun control?