Via FOX Nation
Washington (CNN) — A year ago, President Barack Obama was under fire. Today, he is being feted.
In just 12 months, the 51-year-old lawyer and former U.S. senator raised by a single mother went from a beleaguered candidate for re-election — his record and signature health care law under daily attack by Republican rivals — to being the first Democrat to win more than 50% of a presidential vote twice since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Now the nation’s first African-American president is CNN’s Most Intriguing Person of 2012, as voted on by readers of CNN.com, five days after being named Time’s Person of the Year.
Second most intriguing: Malala Yousufzai: The girl the Taliban wanted dead
Explaining Time’s choice, Executive Editor Richard Stengel cited Obama “for finding and forging a new majority, for turning weakness into opportunity and for seeking, amid great adversity, to create a more perfect union.”
Such accolades and results seemed improbable a year ago when Obama’s approval rating hovered in the low 40s while unemployment was 8.5%. History showed that it was rare, if not unprecedented, for an incumbent to win re-election with such figures.
In December 2011, Obama’s signature health care reform law faced a Supreme Court challenge and unrelenting criticism from Republicans, especially conservatives who depicted it as a socialism-inspired government takeover of almost 20% of the U.S. economy.
In addition, a fierce political battle with congressional Republicans over taxes and spending dominated headlines that month. It was the latest in a series of fiscal showdowns that already caused an unprecedented downgrade in the U.S. credit rating earlier in the year.