The President claims to have won the long game
...he is of course incorrect if you consider the facts
President Obama thinks he has won the long game, you can read about it here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/12/18/president-obamas-year-end-message-i-played-the-long-game-and-i-won/
The largest swaths of his legacy will go away when new leadership is at the helm and have to deal with the litany of programs that worked when he was there to support initiatives concocted by the radicals he put in charge of his Administration's Departments (his National Security Advisor, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Education, etc.), and the lapdogs he gave positions to like Ashton Carter his Defense Secretary, who have at a minimum did their jobs without challenging the POTUS.
The truth will see the light of day new leaders under a new Administration who have to deal with the mess they inherited, and either clean up the mess or brace for the impact of things that didn't happen on their watch. Obama was able to do the things he did because the press was asleep at their posts, but even if a Democrat succeeds him it is unlikely that he or she will be able to continue the madness unscathed. In fact I would wager that the media will eagerly re-assign blame to his successors in an attempt to protect his legacy and their complicity in allowing it to go on without them doing their jobs.
These are the basics, and when history is done with this President the truth will be known. The truth will not be kind to him, because he has chosen to distort it while at the helm, and history will let the truth be known when those who currently have skin in the game are no longer in the game. It always happens, it's just a matter of time. Be it the Founding Father's ownership of slaves, Generals who waged war with extreme brutality that was exposed when the propaganda no longer clouded the views and opinions of later generations, or the peddlers of "established" facts that were outed by what is currently know to be true minus the cover of institutions powerful enough in their days of glory, to cover up ugliness because they could in another era. That's the long view, and President Obama will not be treated kindly by it. Fact.
Conversely, look at the extreme unfairness that President Bush was subjected to when he was fighting the War on Terror and trying to keep us safe. He made mistakes, history has already made that quite clear. But he was also treated savagely by the media who did everything in their power at the time to make him pay dearly for "staying the course", and even more for resourcing a surge absolutely critical to recovering from the blowback that came as a result of getting involved in Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein. His legacy will always be seen as enabling Iran to rise as a powerful menace that, in hindsight, far outweighed the benefit of "freeing" Iraq from a tyrant. Even if Obama did't drop the ball when he allowed the Islamic State to rise from the ashes of defeat by al Qaeda in Iraq, history would have and will never forget that the urgency he projected when the case was made that Saddam posed a threat to our national security because of what intelligence from many nations said was a clear and present danger with regard to his "WMD program". History will not whitewash his mistakes and misjudgements, because history always gets to exposing the truth. Obama hasn't even begun to realize how his failures will be seen by history, because he is still getting way with a dizzying amount of failures because the media is unwilling to anything that will harm him politically at present.
The obvious things that will fall apart when he is no longer President like his use of Executive Orders to bypass legislation, are by themselves enough to predict that his "long game" view of where he is right now is actually an extremely short game that is absolutely certain to be erased with the same pen he made them with. Add to this the direction that his public opinion will go in when the inevitable actually happens, and you can add all of the things that his personal charm has afforded him, to the heap of negative opinion that awaits him when all of the above no longer has an interest in holding a line that they did when he was in power.
It will be like the people who were given home loans they couldn't afford just before he became President. The people loved getting something that they thought they could only dream about, and viewed those that helped them get it positively so long as the future "balloon" was a present tense reality. The moment that the truth was experienced and the dream they were sold was taken away, the very same people were rightfully angry at those whom they thought were being good to them just a short time before. It will in fact be small potatoes compared to hangover we will experience when the reality of what Obama did while President, sinks in and we're left with little more than a bad taste in our mouths from broken promises and a lingering bill that it will take generations to pay.
My prediction is that President Obama will indeed escape his due place in history for years to come. But this notion that he has won anything by playing a long game will be met by future generations as totally disconnected from reality, and he will live his entire life believing that all of the failure that followed his 8 years as President is the blame of his not being there to stop the fools that followed him that weren't up to the task.
© 2015 Peter Lounsbury - 12/18/15