Thank You, Barack Obama

Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan talk with students while visiting a classroom at the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, NY, Oct. 25, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

by Russ Jones

It’s been over eight years ago since you took the nation by storm. You even set the international stage ablaze. You bowed before Kings and captured the imagination of our nation’s youth. Free government handouts are hard to resist.

I remember well Nov. 4, 2008. The day the total vote count was announced, and Sen. Obama would soon become the 44th president of the free world – President Barack Hussein Obama.

When the news broke, I was in The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Many Jordanians took to the streets praising your election chanting, “Obama, Obama, Obama.” You see, I witnessed firsthand. They claimed you as one of their own.

Those of us who have spent a lifetime working in the GOP trenches of political campaigns watched in awe as you masterfully used social media, and compelling messaging that attracted thousands to your rally’s on the campaign trail.

How were you doing it? What was your “secret sauce”?

Ranging from social media to data analytics — to mobilizing supporters – you took out both Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.


Its well known the Republican Party has lagged behind Democrats use of technology. So far behind some seriously wondered if a Republican would ever sit in the Oval House again.

Had the Left’s agenda to rewrite history, weaken the constitution, block freedom of speech and limit religious liberty embedded American culture forever?

Would there ever be an administration that would defend the rights of a Christian baker from making a cake for a same-sex couple? Would the once held ideals of faith, family, and freedom return to the public discourse?

Fast forward to a new era in American politics and a new administration.

President Obama, we were watching, and taking notes.

Yes. Yes, you taught the “deplorables” well. Very well.

A matter-of-fact, you taught so well the ranks of the GOP, disgruntled voters elected a man with zero political experience. Donald J. Trump.

But I digress – back to Trump.

This new found knowledge has also transferred to other groups like pro-life advocates. Activists have found Twitter to be a productive messaging venue to defend the unborn.

“Enough is enough,” is the mantra in many coffee shops across the American landscape. Flyover states and Rust Belt voters learned their lesson.

Agonizing over your socialist policies, many quietly watched. Not taking a knee, burn flags or destroy business storefronts as a result of collective pity parties. The frustrated learned at every turn.

You had thousands hanging on to every word. You had the support of your base. The mainstream media was an extension to your West Wing.

For some, Trump wasn’t their first, second or even third choice, yet he outflanked eighteen other equally qualified Republican candidates and the Clinton machine. Evangelical Christians came out in record numbers. Breaking ranks with the “Never Trump” crowd, some were shunned, unfriended on Facebook and lost lifelong friends.

While many didn’t share his values, they did share his concern for the nation.

Ironically, for not being a politician, President Trump has done more for religious liberty, protecting the unborn, bolstered our 401k’s, and has quoted Scripture more in ten months than Obama did in eight years.

He’s quickly learned that draining the swamp isn’t easy. From resistant Democrats to squishy Republicans not keeping their promises, Washington establishment, Obama holdovers, and special interests currently clog the DC drain.

But, 41 million Twitter followers is a pretty good clog remover enabling President Trump to bypass the “filter” of the glaringly liberal bias of the mainstream press.

As the rise of violent leftist groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter take to the streets “resisting” the Trump Administration, conservatives crafted the Tea Party which provided productive platforms to discuss policy issues, launched alternative news sites, and mobilized the disenfranchised that ultimately lead to regaining the White House.

Isn’t it funny how those who demand tolerance are often the most intolerant? Most conservatives can handle, even respect, a worldview different from their own. The “thought police” just can’t handle “agreeing to disagree” and civil discourse.

So President Obama, thank you. Thank you for leading the way; being patient as those not in the elite class learned the “secret sauce.”

With the 2018 midterms near, only time will tell if the student surpasses the teacher.


Russ JonesBorn in Kansas City, but now choosing to live in Oxford, Miss, Russ Jones is a thirty-year media veteran having worked on numerous statewide and national political campaigns. He’s overseen news operations and produced syndicated talk radio programs. He’s the founding president of the Oxford Pachyderm Club, which launched in 2016. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter @russjonesspeaks.

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