Obama’s 5 Bold Moves of 2013

From the debt-ceiling debate to protecting his girls, the president is taking no prisoners this year.


(The Root) — Though we are just over a week into 2013, some are already calling this time period a defining one of the Obama presidential legacy. From his new approach to negotiating with the GOP to his efforts to fight for his children, we take a look at the president’s boldest moves so far.

1. Wins the Fiscal-Cliff Negotiations

For any progressive unhappy with the outcome of the fiscal-cliff negotiations and therefore disputing the notion that the president won, here is proof that he did: No matter how unhappy any progressive may be with some aspect of the final result (such as the fact that those making between $250,000 and $400,000 did not see their taxes raised), there are many more conservatives who are unhappier still, among them Newt Gingrich and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who said, point-blank, the president won.

2. Goes to Bat for His Girls

Any adolescent boy looking to ask out Sasha and Malia anytime soon, be warned: The president is a very protective papa. The White House just sent a stern letter to a paparazzo who sold photos of Sasha and Malia Obama on their Hawaiian family holiday.

3. Nominates Sen. Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary

Very rarely do conservatives and gay Americans find themselves united in a high-profile political battle, but Hagel’s nomination is one of those rare cases. The former Republican senator from Nebraska initially drew criticism for his comments in the ’90s about a gay American nominated for a diplomatic post.

Though he has since apologized for the remark, there have been plenty of other ongoing criticisms of Hagel, the most impassioned of which appear to come from his own party. Many conservatives and pro-Israel groups have taken issue with his foreign policy record, including voting against sanctions against Iran while in the Senate. The president’s response? He nominated him anyway.

4. Takes on the NRA — and Doesn’t Back Down