President Obama's Report Card: One Year Later
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

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Warren BallentineWarren Ballentine, Attorney and Host, “The Warren Ballentine Show”

What is the administration’s overall achievement?

I think it is two things that they want to achieve before President Obama is out of office. I think they want to get universal healthcare, and I think they want to get jobs re-implemented in this country. With those two things everything else will fall into place.

What was the Obama administration’s biggest wins and losses?

I think he had a couple of big wins. I think the appointment of [Supreme Court] Justice Sonia Sotomayor was a huge win for him. I think that the Senate was able to pass a viable measure of healthcare. He has gotten healthcare farther than any prior president. Those are his big wins.

The biggest loss to me is Afghanistan. He is taking on a war that is not winnable. Because he has adopted this war that was given to him by the Bush administration and made it his own child, he is losing a lot of American citizens because of that war.

What’s ahead for the Obama administration in 2010? What are the things he should be tackling?

Job creation. The key to him getting reelected is how many jobs he creates in three years. If he creates a substantial job gain in this country he will be reelected with a landslide. If I was in his cabinet my first piece of advice. ‘Look healthcare is great. This war is your issue, but we need to focus on creating jobs and getting this country back to being industrialized where we are creating, manufacturing, and exporting things instead of just importing everything in here.’

On a scale of A to F, how would you grade Obama on the following topics:

Jobs: C
He is stopping unemployment from happening, but he is not creating new jobs.

Healthcare reform: A+ if there’s a public option.
If not, C-minus.

Economy: A-
He inherited a hot mess from George W. Bush as far as economy goes but if you look at the housing market it is starting to trend back.

Wall Street: C-
We bailed out the bankers on Wall Street and they haven’t put any of the money back into the people’s pocket.

Small business development: A+
He has initiated a lot of programs that will give small businesses development from tax shelters to tax initiatives to loan initiatives.

Housing: A+
What he has done in one year’s time has kind of steadied the housing market, which in some form or fashion did not look like it could be steadied.

National security: B+
While I do feel safe in this country and I think he has done an excellent job with homeland security in this country and abroad, I do not agree with this war in Afghanistan.

Race: F
We must have an open an honest conversation about race in this country.

Overall: A-
He has fought a hell of a fight just to get us in the position we’re in right now.

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