- It’s (still) the economy, stupid
The expansion that began in June 2009 has been the weakest since World War II, with real gross domestic product growth averaging 2.1%. At 7 1/2 years and counting, it is also among the longest on record. But it hasn’t packed much of a punch. Cumulative growth of 16.5% since the trough is well shy of the 38.4% increase during the 1982-1990 expansion and 42.6% from 1991-2001, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- A Legacy of Ashes
Obama’s continued popularity hasn’t had much of a trickle-down effect. In the eight years since he was first elected, Democrats have lost more than 1,000 seats at the state and national level. Republicans now control 4,170 state legislative seats compared with 3,129 for the Democrats, an all-time low.
- Keep your friends close
At his year-end press conference on Dec. 16, which was short on questions, long on answers, Obama spoke about his response to the Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee emails during the election.
He said that when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in China in September, he told him to “cut it out” in terms of the hacking.