President Obama gave hope to those who rarely had it
And, I go back to the Eisenhower era.
For a nation founded on the principal of slavery, the fact that President Obama, a true African-American, twice won substantial margins of victory is an achievement no other president can claim.
And, that's just the beginning of his accomplishments.
He calmly guided the country through the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
He did so well that the unemployment rate is near historic lows and more jobs were created under President Obama than any other president. Oregon's jobless rate is the lowest since modern records began more than 40 years ago. Bend is at full employment.
The stock market is at record highs.
President Obama expanded access to health care to more than 20 million Americans.
He led the world to finalize negotiations of the International Climate Agreement to combat climate change.
Solar and wind energy production boomed under President Obama. Auto fuel standards were raised and cars get better mileage than ever.
Gas prices have stayed low and stable for a few years now.
President Obama kept America safe in a world made increasingly unsafe by the policies of the previous administration. He made the killing of Osama bin Laden a priority.
His administration was scandal free.
Oh, and he also won the Nobel Peace Prize.
There are other accomplishments, which you can read about here and here.
The only comparable president in the past 100 years is FDR, who guided the country out of the Great Depression and to victory in World War II.
President Obama's achievements wouldn't seem so great if weren't preceded by one of the worst presidents in American history or if he weren't succeeded by the most unpopular president in U.S. history.
But, they are substantial, nonetheless.
On the day we celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., it is fitting to note President Obama led this country with grace, class and intelligence. We won't see another president of his caliber for years. He is a role model for generations, not only in this country, but also throughout the world.
Well done, sir.