Entering the White House in the midst of the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression, Obama was perhaps destined for a fraught presidency. Eight years on, his critics draw attention to broken promises and the policy left waiting in the Capitol’s anterooms. Others continue to extol him as the man at the helm of a cohesive America – one that has recovered remarkably well from the economic crisis. It’s a debate destined to continue for some time. Less in contention, however, is the fact that Obama has displayed qualities deeply desirable in a global leader. Charismatic and stalwart on the world stage, he has shown a resolute commitment to diplomacy; as one of the most powerful men in the world, he has nevertheless proven capable of real humility; and finally, with his candid and profoundly expressive manner, he has succeeded in presenting himself as a relatable figure, achieving what many of his predecessors could not.
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Obama has his signature fist bump returned by wife Michelle during his 2008 election run
A natural with children, Obama finds a running partner in the Oval Office
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Ever diplomatic, the President cuts a confident character while dealing with the leaders of other superpowers
Lisa Jack’s photo of ‘Barry’ Obama, taken in the 1980’s, gave the President a certain avant-garde appeal
The internet cashes in on Obama’s cool-guy image
Not one to take himself too seriously, Obama appears on the Jimmy Kimmel show to read mean tweets about himself.
Obama brought an inherent laid-back style to business matters.
Describing them as his ‘biggest frustration’, Obama has worked tirelessly to reform gun laws in America. Here, he makes an emotional speech in response the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.
Obama dances the tango in Argentina.
With a deep belief in both democracy and diplomacy, Obama tended to lead a cohesive, not divisive campaign.
A popular president: American perceptions of Obama’s world standing have increased this year.
Perhaps most of all, we’ll miss the incredible bromance between Biden and Obama.
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