Annual Review of the Presidency

The Annual Review of the Presidency has been an IGS tradition since 1981. Sponsored by the Matsui Center, the series brings together a panel of distinguished writers, academics, politicians, and policymakers to analyze the Presidential performance of the past year.

Past Events

Obama Unleashed? Or Obama Rejected? : The President in his Second Term

April 27, 2015 - 7:30pm
Banatao Auditorium
Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

Midway through his second term, has President Obama found new political life? Has a recovering economy freed him to pursue a more activist agenda aimed at the middle class, including a higher minimum wage, tuition-free community college, and additional taxes on the wealthy? Or is the President’s opportunity to influence policy essentially over, repudiated by the rejection of the voters in 2014? Faced with hostile Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, is he already a lame duck? We gather together experts to talk about Obama’s performance over the past year, and the prospects for his final two years in office.

This event is co-sponsored by the Cal Berkeley Democrats

Obama in the World: The President and Foreign Policy

April 7, 2014 -
7:30pm to 9:00pm
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall
UC Berkeley

President Obama has governed during a turbulent era in American foreign policy. The Obama Administration has dealt with the winding down of war in Iraq, the escalation of war in Afghanistan, the continued campaign against terrorism, the convulsions of the Arab Spring and Syria, the tensions of a frayed relationship with Russia, the disclosure of secret surveillance programs, and more. How has the president, who took office as a young man with relatively little foreign policy experience, met these challenges? Has Obama worked his will upon the world? Has he stumbled because of his own mistakes? Has he been overwhelmed by events beyond his control? A panel of experts examines the president's record on issues of global importance.


The Honorable Howard Berman, former Member of Congress and former Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, and author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and former Director for Defense Strategy and Requirements, National Security Council

Co-Sponsored by: Berkeley Political Review; Institute of International Studies; United Nations Association-East BayInstitute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Four More Years: Obama's Re-Election and the Prospects for a Second Term

April 15, 2013 -
7:30pm to 9:00pm
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall
UC Berkeley

A panel of experts analyzes President Obama's re-election victory, and the prospects for his second term in the White House. The President won a clear but narrow victory, carrying fewer states and receiving a lower share of the popular vote than he did in 2008. At the same time voters stuck with the status quo in Congress -- a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. So was the election a mandate for the President or merely a rejection of Republican nominee Mitt Romney? In either case, what should we expect from the second Obama Administration? Will it be more of the same, or a changed style of leadership? How much of the President's agenda is tied to the economy? What about foreign policy events over which the President has no control? Join us for a discussion that will look back at the election of 2012 and ahead to the next four years.

Watch this program on UCTV, June 3 at 9 a.m.

Click here for complete schedule. 

Election Year: The Obama Presidency and the 2012 Campaign

April 2, 2012 - 7:00pm

As President Obama seeks a second term, we examine his presidency and the 2012 election. Is the president to blame for the stagnant economy that has bedeviled his administration? Would any president have been able to engineer a speedier economic recovery? How has the president managed the foreign policy challenges of his time? Has he met the need for symbolic leadership from the president? And what of the Republicans who seek to replace him? Four years after a dramatic election that made American history, what should we expect from the election of 2012?

Obama at Mid-Term: A Report Card

March 14, 2011 - 7:00pm

Halfway through his term, how do we assess the presidency of Barack Obama? How did he deal with the economic and foreign policy dilemmas he inherited? How did his election change the dynamics of both parties? And in the wake of the mid-term elections, how should he seek to lead the country for the remaining two years of his term. Halfway through a historic presidency, a panel of experts puts the Obama Administration under the magnifying glass.

Obama Settles In: A Report Card on the New President

April 12, 2010 - 7:00pm
105 Stanley Hall
UC Berkeley

After 15 months in office, how has President Obama responded to the historic opportunity that greeted his arrival in the White House? Has he responded adequately to an economy in crisis? Has he moved fast enough to fulfill his campaign promise on Iraq? What about the other foreign policy challenges he has faced? And how has the nation's first African-American president confronted issues of race? A panel of experts analyzed the early stages of a historic presidency.

Obama Takes Charge - The President's First Three Months

April 20, 2009 - 7:00pm

Barack Obama is a historic president who took office at a historic moment, amid an economic crisis at home and a lingering war abroad. After exactly three months in office, our panel of experts assesses the new administration. What has the president accomplished? Where has he failed? And has he laid the groundwork for a successful first term, or is the administration already adrift?

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