If you worked a factory shift in Michigan in January 2009, when Barack Obama assumed the office of the presidency, you were wrestling with two manners of economic crisis. One was the immediate threat to your job. If you lost it, you were in danger of losing your car, and your house too. The other moved slower than the flood of the financial crisis. It was the realization that came into picture over many years —that the economic future you were once promised was drifting away.
That imminent crisis has long since receded. History will record that President Obama and his economic team presided over a historically swift end to a massive recession, along with a better rebound than any other industrialized country enjoyed at the time. Obama bragged on this legacy in his farewell speech on Tuesday evening in Chicago.