The recently leaked video of Donald Trump bragging about groping women without their consent has made one thing clear: The last eight years of US presidential politics have been blissfully scandal-free.
As US president Barack Obama said about the leaked Trump tape this week: “You don’t have to be a husband or a father to hear what we heard just a few days ago and say, ‘that’s not right.’ You just have to be a decent human being to say that’s not right.”
A gruesome campaign season has left Americans anxious and depressed about what the future may hold. And apparently it’s made them more appreciative of their outgoing president. During the past year, Obama’s approval rating has remained close to 50%, though it recently spiked to 54% in a Gallup poll, making him more than twice as popular as George W. Bush was at the same point during his last few months in office. Only Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan held similarly high second-term approval ratings.
No wonder a slideshow of photos from Obama’s eight years in office, made by the social content site Fantastic Things in the World, has gone viral. In the torrent of political news, the images feel like distant memories: photos of Obama fist-bumping a White House custodian, sharing a moment with his wife, messing around with children, babies, and dogs, and laughing with The Roots and Jimmy Fallon.
The slideshow even summoned compliments from some Republicans on Facebook: “As a devoted Republican, I can say with ease that Barack Obama is one heck of a character and a great guy,” wrote one viewer. “What a President and First Lady. No muck or filth, a wholesome family,” commented another. One British commenter added, “neither Clinton or That orange plonker Trump would ever be able to fill his shoes, the man is a CLASS act.”