Barack Obama became the first African American to take office in the White House with his election win in 2008. Now Donald Trump is set to occupy the Oval Office.
“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America,” Obama told supporters at a victory rally in Chicago.
It was a different theme from the President-elect Donald Trump in his first speech after winning the election.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. We have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”
Can that happen after such rhetoric from the billionaire businessman who is so diametrically opposed to the politics of Obama? Will his words become law?
Take the health insurance law which has has become known as Obamacare. The president signed it off after a battle lasting over a year with Congress to get it on the statue books. What chance of it surviving under the President-elect?
“On healthcare, we are going to get rid of Obamacare, repeal it and replace it,” Trump told supporters in August.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership – the TPP – an economic partnership of 12 countries including the US and which was negotiated by Obama could also be ditched.
“Just imagine how many more automobile jobs will be lost if the TPP is actually approved. It will be catastrophic. That’s why I have announced we will withdraw from the deal before that can ever, ever, ever happen,” declared the President-elect.
Then there is climate change. The present incumbant of the Oval Office was behind measures to cut carbon emissions and a supporter of the Paris Accord.
“The United States recognizes our role in creating this problem and we embrace our responsibility to help solve it. And I am determined to make sure that American leadership continues to drive international action,” Obama said.
In a series of tweets the man who will now lead the US on the international stage has been outspoken on the subject of climate change saying it is, “an expensive hoax”.
In one he accused the Chinese of creating it to make American manufacturing non-competitive.
There is also a huge chasm between the two leaders on the subject of Muslims in the US. These were words from the president in his weekly address at the start of December last year after the shootings in San Bernadinho.
“This weekend our hearts are with the people of San Bernadinho, another American community shattered by unspeakable violence.”
Two days later this was the response of Donald Trump.
“He refuses to use the term ‘radical’, ‘Islamic’, ‘terrorism’. He refuses to use the term. I don’t even know if he knows what the hell is going on. I really don’t,” he said.
Last June Obama questioned if the Republican officials agreed with their nominations stand on Muslims.
“We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States to bar all Muslims from immigrating into America. Do Republican officials actually agree with this?”
And six months later at a rally the outgoing president also spoke openly of his belief that the man who will succeed him is not up to the job as supporters booed the mention of the then Republican candidate.
“Donald Trump … Don’t boo vote. Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified to be president,” he told supporters at a rally.