By Josh Schoenblatt
Photos Courtesy of Noelle N. Smith
We all believe that we live a busy lifestyle. That we put in the long hours, the dedication and hard work. Yet today I met a man that would put all of you to shame. This man is Stephen Hess, and his political career started during the Eisenhower Administration and continues on to today and beyond.
His wealth of knowledge from the inside of a President’s administration to his outside knowledge from the Brookings Institution -a think tank- has led to a well rounded idea of what occurs in politics. Listening to Stephen Hess was beyond amazing and every political scientist major in the room was in awe.
Hess made it quiet clear from the beginning that he is a Republic, yet his ideas and theories were well rounded and not attack oriented. It was a nice change of pace to hear a minimally biased talk on the politics of the day. One topic that he spoke about was second term Presidents.
Stephen Hess summed up a second term to that of an hour glass turned upside down. The President knowns his/her time is limited and people will start to look at what the President’s legacy is. We can see this in many ways. First off, Presidents start to work more on foreign policy instead of domestic politics. A focus on events in Syria, Libya, Egypt and Israel most likely will become more prominent in President Obama’s policies. President Obama already has his legacy started with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. So long as there are no hitches between now and its full implementation, President Obama will be remembers for doing what many Presidents before him could only dream of.
A problem that Stephen Hess saw was related to the domestic side of politics for Obama. Between campaign promises and current tragic events, President Obama has a large stack of legislation that he should try to do. Gun control, immigration, government spending and taxes are just a few on the list. None of these will be easy or simple. This will also tie back to President Obama’s legacy on whether he could accomplish everything on his plate or if he “failed” to keep up with the changes in the country.
Stephen Hess is an extraordinary man that has accomplish enough for multiple lifetimes. His knowledge is unparalleled to many and provides a clear view for aspiring political scientists. His talk on legacy’s clearly pointed out and explained what is most likely going through President Obama’s mind as he plans out his next and last four years in the White House.