Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Photos: Obama's major milestones during his first term

U.S. President Obama's has experienced several successes and failures on the world and domestic stage. Here are eight key moments of the Obama presidency.

1 of 8

JAN. 20, 2009, Obama inaugural address “We gather here because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord … we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

Jason Reed/Reuters/Jason Reed/Reuters

2 of 8

OCT. 9, 2009 President Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize. In office less than a year, the President is credited with creating “a new climate in international politics.” Even Mr. Obama is surprised by the effusive citation, which adds: “only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future.”

Bjorn Sigurdson/Scanpix Norway/AP Photo/Pool/Bjorn Sigurdson/Scanpix Norway/AP Photo/Pool

3 of 8

APRIL 29, 2009 Mr. Obama's first 100 days in office were an exercise in pure crisis management. Implementing the bailouts of the big banks and auto makers, and injecting nearly $1-trillion of stimulus spending into the economy led to the most massive expansion of government since the Great Depression.

Charles Dharapak/AP/Charles Dharapak/AP

4 of 8

MARCH 21, 2010 In passing his health-care reform bill, Mr. Obama achieved what countless other presidents – Democrats and Republicans – had tried and failed to do. But the bill's goal of ensuring near universal health coverage by requiring Americans to buy insurance sparked a historic backlash and gave birth to the Tea Party movement.

Jason Reed/Reuters/Jason Reed/Reuters

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 8

JULY 1, 2010 “There should be no doubt – the United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” Mr. Obama warned as he slapped another round of sanctions on Tehran.

Yuri Gripas/Reuters/Yuri Gripas/Reuters

6 of 8

SUMMER, 2010 The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico turned the summer of 2010 into a nightmare for Mr. Obama. Americans reeled in horror watching the “spillcam” images of gushing oil that the administration seemed powerless to stop, turning Mr. Obama into a “No We Can't” President.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

7 of 8

MAY 1, 2011 As jubilant Americans danced and cheered outside the White House, President Obama told the nation that al-Qeada leader Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. special forces in a daring raid deep into Pakistan. “Justice has been done,” the President said. “The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaeda.”

Jason Reed/Reuters/Jason Reed/Reuters

8 of 8

DEC. 11, 2011 “History will judge this President’s leadership with scorn and disdain,” proclaimed Senator John McCain. Even before new outbreaks of sectarian violence bloodied Baghdad and other Iraqi cities after American soldiers pulled out, Mr. McCain said: “It is clear that this decision of a complete pullout of United States troops from Iraq was dictated by politics and not our national-security interests.”

Ronen Zvulun/Reuters/Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Report an error
Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at