The Obama legacy

2009-2017

The legacy of Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has been many things in his eight years in office. As the nation’s first African-American president, he will always symbolize a historic breakthrough. The Democrat’s ambitious agenda — ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, reforming health care, retooling the economy for the 21st century, resetting policy toward longtime adversaries such as Iran and Cuba, improving race relations, leading on climate change — proved controversial and produced uneven results.

Despite his campaign promise, Obama was unable to change the culture of Washington. The race to succeed him revealed just how divided America is — and the next president, Republican Donald Trump, could reverse many of Obama’s policies, putting his long-term legacy in peril.

Here are assessments of Obama’s legacy as his tenure ends.

Take a look back at how the first daughters have grown up.

Getty Images / Mark Wilson