President Obama recently met with several Presidential historians to best see how he could preserve his legacy after he completes his second term. Lincoln, Reagan and the ilk were strewn through the conversation until one historian highlighted a President NPR reports will serve as President Obama’s historical guide to a transformative legacy: Theodore Roosevelt.
Take Notes from Teddy
One of the most interesting articles NPR reports on Teddy Roosevelt stems from a novel written by Deborah Davis. Davis chronicled the dinner date between President Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington, the first black man to have enjoyed a meal in the White House with the President.
President Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, can learn much from this historic visit. Davis describes the visit as a tension-filled reunion between the most influential white and black man in the country at the time. Douglas’ framed portrait graced the walls of many black American homes as a symbol of hope. Uncoincidentally, President Obama and his family are placed in living-room frames, plastered on t-shirts, and clicked into the desktop backgrounds of African-American families today.
Douglas’ visit sparked controversy among many white Americans who did not believe a black man had a right to be situated so intimately with a white man. However, President Roosevelt is viewed as a President who understood the plight of the “common man.” Roosevelt, according to NPR, had the gumption to withstand a blazing wildfire of criticism from the American people.
Because NPR suggests President Obama desires to leave a legacy like Teddy Roosevelt, it may be interesting to take a look at how the two American leaders stack up against each other.
Comparable and Contrasting
Roosevelt—Like President Obama:
1. Entered the White House on a wave of youthful vigor and change-driven policies.
2. Ranked as one of the nations “coolest” Presidents
3. Roosevelt’s family created a new image of the “first family” with his children growing up in the White House.
4. Supported Universal Healthcare
President Obama—Unlike Roosevelt:
1. Does not do an exhaustive amount of entertaining Capitol Hill decision-makers
2. According to NPR: Has not established a “day-to-day” relationship with the American people.
3. Has not created a “Burn to Save the Forests”
**President Roosevelt stated that sweeping forest fires actually saved the nation by strengthening the U.S. Forestry Service. Perhaps, President Obama should assert the same prerogative
NPR reports that solving the issue of the fiscal cliff is an opportunity for President Obama to show he can work with Congress to make a change that will allow him to solidify a place as one of the most influential American Presidents.
President Obama Quotes Teddy Roosevelt