January 20, 2009 became one of the most memorable day in history. Barack Obama became the President of the United States of America, the first non-white president in American history. Officially, a year of his presidency has passed and I think its high-time to review his first year in office. What has he done? Comparing his actual accomplishments to the litany of promises made during his campaign, he hasn’t done a lot. A promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay has yet to be fully achieved, yet Obama made even more history by adding a Nobel Peace Prize in his first year in office to his list of accomplishments – an unprecedented event in American presidential history.

One of the most important campaign promises Obama made was over the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and ending wartime operations there. He has not upheld this promise fashionably and to make it worse, many of the troops he has withdrawn from Iraq have been redeployed in Afghanistan. The whole point of exiting Iraq was to bring the troops home from an over-extended and unsuccessful war – but they are still far from home.

One thing Obama has accomplished is the call for health care reform. The health care reform is planned to expand health insurance towards people who are insured, and makes it illegal for American citizens not to have health insurance. The reform also makes it illegal for insurers to deny health care coverage to people who are sick or have pre-existing conditions. After a total of six months of debate over the bill with right vs. left propaganda, the bill was finally passed on Christmas Eve of 2009. On the topic of Obama’s foreign policy, unlike former President George W. Bush, Obama has made an effort to extend a hand to nations all around the world, preaching mutual interest and mutual respect.

The greatest thing Obama has done for the American people and the world as a whole is by giving hope. Hope that anyone can achieve their dreams through a strong vision, hard work, and determination. Obama is one of the most powerful individuals in the world and with such power comes great responsibility, the greatest of which is the responsibility to the people. The next three years of his presidency should serve the people, otherwise he may not claim a second term in office.

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