Barack Obama and his disciples began worrying about his legacy even before he took office. He would not be satisfied to be judged competent or good. He was going to be a transformative president. He has been widely mocked for claiming that his election would mark the moment when the seas began to retreat and humanity would be spared the flood and so forth.
But behind the hyperbole, there was conviction. This administration would do big things. It would write its name on the pages of history.
Maybe. But if you are an ordinary American, trying to get by and possibly even get ahead, the legacy has already been written. And, as Howard Schneider at Reuters writes, it is not pretty.
Barack Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue.
… for the middle class the scars of the recession still run deep. Federal Reserve survey data show families in the middle fifth of the income scale now earn less and their net worth is lower than when Obama took office.
That’s a legacy. Of sorts.