Based on Barber’s theory, I classify the character of former US President Barack Obama under the active/positive group. During his term in office, Obama performed his political roles actively and enjoyed them. These presidents tend to have huge national plans and ambitions and they are optimistic, self-confident, joyful, and flexible when exercising power (Barber, 2009). When Obama came into power in 2008, he had big national aspirations and was determined to change the American society (Merry, 2014). He introduced the Affordable Care Act that altered American health care dispensing and increased the federal government expenditure on health care (Stolberg & Pear, 2010). His political audacity was outstanding because he expected no opposition when he introduced the Obamacare. Barber reveals that these presidents have had successful political careers before they moved to White house (Dean, 2008). Before Obama became president, he had served as a senator for Illinois and had been a student leader back in college.
Obama possessed other numerous personal attributes which made his character active-positive. First, Obama had a conviction of capability whereby he considers that even though he has his own weaknesses, he is fully prepared to handle the challenges. Secondly, Obama had perfected the art of investment without immersion. He portrayed a strong attention and a deep interest on matters he considered worthwhile. He was also able to cultivate a healthy distance with his work. Third, he was optimistic of the future as it is more important than the past (Smallwood, 2013). Fourth, Obama had mastered the art of communication that enabled him to connect better with people (Calhoun, 2015). When addressing the crowd, Obama was capable of arousing their interests and inspiring their positive imaginations, especially among the African Americans. Lastly, Obama possessed an attitude that reflects on pattern of character as he oriented himself enduringly during his childhood experiences (Levy, n.d.). His actions deal with universal concepts such as violence, equality, and justice.
- Barber, J. D. (2009). The presidential character: Predicting performance in the White House (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Calhoun, L. (2015). 5 leadership lessons from Obama. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/lisa-calhoun/5-leadership-lessons-from-obama.html
- Dean, J. W. (2008). Predicting the nature of Obama’s presidency. Retrieved from https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/predicting-the-nature-of-obamas-presidency.html
- Levy, J. (n.d.). Presidential character & politics. Retrieved from https://jacoblevy.atavist.com/midterm
- Merry, R. W. (2014). The psychology of Barack Obama. Retrieved from https://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-psychology-barack-obama-9244
- Smallwood, N. (2013). Judging Obama as a leader. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/2009/09/04/obama-skills-character-leadership-managing-presidents.html#565afa241e32
- Stolberg, S. G., & Pear, R. (2010). Obama signs health care overhaul into law. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/health/policy/24health.html