National Urban League Issues First Presidential Scorecard Ranking Obama Presidency

The National Urban League released a comprehensive scorecard evaluating the presidential term of Barack Obama, giving the Administration its second-highest rating of “Excellent.”

“Throughout our history, the National Urban League has taken seriously our responsibility to hold the President of the United States accountable to the needs of urban America and communities of color,” National Urban League President Marc H. Morial said. “During the Great Depression, Executive Secretary Eugene Kinkle Jones served on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ‘Black Cabinet.’  Lester Granger, who headed the League during World War II, is among those credited with persuading President Harry Truman to desegregate the Armed Forces. Whitney M. Young advised presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and was instrumental in the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act. Urban League Presidents Vernon Jordan, John Jacob and Hugh Price continued our engagement with the Presidents with whom they served to further the work of civil rights and secure support for Urban League programs.”

“The National Urban League has regarded the first African-American Presidency with special significance, not simply because of its trailblazing status, but also because of the unique conditions under which President Barack Obama took office and served his two terms,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “He inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and was faced with Congressional opposition unprecedented in its intensity and sinister nature.”

Morial said his organization harkened back to the famous question Ronald Reagan asked the nation during his sole debate against President Jimmy Carter: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

“We asked ourselves not only whether the nation as a whole is better off than it was eight years ago, but also whether Black America is better off,” Morial said. “ The answer to both questions is, unequivocally, yes.”

The administration was given ratings of “Superior,” “Excellent,” “Good,” “Fair” or “Poor” on a wide range of policy areas including jobs and the economy, education, criminal justice, civil rights, housing and others.

The full scorecard can be found at the following link:

Morial noted that President Obama was leaving office with an approval rating even higher than Reagan’s, exceeded only by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton. During Obama’s presidency, the economy has added more than 11 million jobs, and the jobless rate has dropped from 7.6% to 4.7% – and from 12.6% to 7.8 for African Americans. The high school graduation rate for African Americans has increased from 66.1% to 85%. There are 614,000 fewer long-term unemployed. Wages are up 3.4 percent. More than 16 million Americans who were uninsured now have health care coverage, with the uninsured rate for African Americans cut by more than half.

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