By Mark Naison
I campaigned hard for President Obama in 2008, cried tears of joy when he was elected, and yet found myself in almost immediate opposition to many of his policies–not all of which could be blamed on Republicans. When it comes to issues like education and financial policy, I have more than a little ambivalence about the eight years of the Obama Presidency. Yet I have a deep admiration for how he and the First Lady have conducted themselves as public figures, as parents and as our First Family. They have set a standard for dignity eloquence and grace under duress that will last a long time. Facing levels of hatred, suspicion and contempt rooted deeply in our racist history, they responded by creating a moral high ground for discussions of race and justice that we would be well to retain. The policy legacy of Barack Obama will be critiqued and discussed for years to come. But the huge positive impact he and Michelle Obama have had in providing a model of dignified leadership for families as well as our nation is something we can cherish for years to come. Thank you, Mr. President.