It seemed that his presidency was over early and his legacy would be quite poor. The series of setbacks for President Barack Obama arrived one after another.
Just in the beginning of June, his approval rating sat at 45 to 50 percent, showing a president rejected at historic levels.
The major discussions of his presidency were questioned, with a legislature denying him a fast track for the most important trade agreement of the last 20 years — a refusal promoted by his party — the racial themes running high due to multiple police abuses toward African-Americans, the slowed advance of the immigration issue due to disagreements between Republicans and Democrats … in short, a fettered presidency.
And suddenly, by the end of June, what will possibly be Barack Obama’s most important week happened.
Regarding racial matters, the tragedy of Charleston church’s murderer, where a white young man shot and killed several African-Americans, gave Obama the opportunity to reverse it in an emotional week with many interviews on the subject.
These interviews invited racial unity and he managed to cap it all off by being the speaker in a ceremony in front of thousands of people, where we saw an Obama spontaneously singing the hymn to unity, “Amazing Grace.”
At the legislative level, the Senate granted him, with the Republicans’ vote, fast track authority to carry forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This will allow the U.S. to advance in the trade agenda in a pace not seen since the signature and entry into force of the NAFTA.
It is worth emphasizing that the one who gave Obama this triumph was the Republican Party. After years of seeing a division that seems irreconcilable between both parties, it also represents a breath of fresh air.
As if all this were not enough, the Supreme Court gave Obama two huge victories by the end of June. First of all, the court ruled in favor of leaving the health care reform exactly as the president wanted.
With the King vs. Burwell ruling, Obama no longer has to worry about the series of attacks from the legislature to his health care reform or that his successor will change Obamacare. The reform to offer universal health insurance stays.
And the week ended with the legalization of same-sex marriage across the 50 U.S. states — the most important triumph of the liberal agenda in recent years. [And] a huge change that occurred not only within a single generation, but also within one presidency.
When Obama arrived to the White House he did not support same-sex marriage. A little over two years ago he decided to state publicly that he had changed his mind. And because of that, this U.S. Supreme Court ruling reads like a triumph for Obama, too.
The weekend started with the White House illuminated with a rainbow. As well it should have been. What has been the most important week of Obama’s presidency has ended.