At first glance Obama and Trump don’t appear to have anything in common other than they both made it to the highest office in the land. But when one looks closer at their individual political circumstances in their respective first terms and the electoral landscape after their first election victories, striking similarities begin to emerge.
Obama was elected in a landslide victory, which also handed the Democrats overwhelming control of both Congress and the Senate.
Trump was elected in a narrower victory than Obama in terms of the Electoral College, but he was nonetheless was elected with a large majority in Congress and a sufficiently large majority in the Senate.
Both Presidents effectively had the ability to pass whatever legislation that they could get their Congressional and Senate Colleagues to agree with. These large majorities in both halls of Capitol Hill coupled with a President of the same party are relatively rare. They are great opportunities to pass bills that are kryptonite to the party on the other side of the aisle, that would never pass under normal circumstances.
The Obama administration largely failed to capitalize on the large Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate while they had the opportunity.
If the Obama administration had of made “Obama care”, a single payer universal health care system for example, their priority in the first two years they could have gotten a system much closer to the one they wanted. Instead Democrat concessions made necessary by a much less friendly Capitol Hill later in Obama’s presidency, led to Obamacare being “ineffective” and “compromised” according to some policy analysts.
Trump on the other hand has in relative terms run riot with his policy agenda despite having a smaller majority than Obama did during his first two years.
The Trump administration has passed large tax cuts, for both personal income tax and corporate taxes with relative ease given the policy deadlock that usually defines Capitol Hill.
In addition to that Trump has cut 16 regulations for every new one fulfilling the ideals of Libertarian Republicans the country over.
Both Trump and Obama started out in very similar positions, but one administration has been willing to severely rock the boat in order to pass the bill’s they wanted. The other was trying to mend fences and build bridges the other side was never interested in, in the first place.
In essence Trump is the Anti-Obama, a bull in a China shop figure who doesn’t use a scalpel when a hammer will do. But his hammer job on U.S politics has given the Republican Party and Trump supporters things that have been on their wish list for decades.
Obama on the other hand delivered many Democrats disappointment that he didn’t do more when he had the chance, leaving many die hard Democrats hopeful that next time will be different.