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The Obama Legacy As The Trump Era Nears

John D. Simmons / The Charlotte Observer

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

As Barack Obama moves out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mike Collins and guests look at his legacy and how the hope he ushered in can stand up to the change that's about to happen.

When Barack Obama first appeared on the national stage more than a decade ago, he rejected the view that the country had been divided into red and blue states. "There is not a liberal American and a conservative America. There is the United States of America," the then-U.S. Senate candidate from Illinois told the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

The polarization the young lawmaker scoffed at has since become more acute than ever. More than three-fourths of Americans see a divided country, and in his farewell address Obama warned that income inequality and other societal woes could widen that wedge.

It's a stark contrast to the "Hope and Change" on which Obama was first elected.

The trail that Obama blazed in 2008 now stands to be scorched by the Donald Trump White House and the Republican-controlled Congress, which plans to dismantle Obama's signature health care law.

What is the Obama legacy, and how will it withstand the change in management coming to the White House?


Dr. Michael Bitzer, professor of political science, provost; Catawba College (@BowTiePolitics)

Mary C. Curtis, columnist, Roll Call; contributor, NBCBLK, WCCB News Rising (@mcurtisnc3)

Ron Elving, senior editor and correspondent, NPR (@NPRelving)

Dr. Susan Roberts, professor of political science, Davidson College (@profsuroberts)

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