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Can Obama turn it around?

With approval ratings at an all-time low, dropping 12% in a period of one year, it looks like Obama’s popularity resembles that of “W". It would seem the Republicans are an easy target to blame for the drop, but surprisingly, Obama’s decrease in approval is a cut across the divide even among his fellow Democrats.

Healthcare and economic growth, key issues that affect the common citizen daily, seem to be polarizing issues for Republicans and Democrats alike. Moreover, Obama has also failed in upholding key campaign promises such as closing Guantanamo Bay, and has shown a lapse in general management and oversight, such as with the Department of Veteran Affairs and a controversial, unilateral decision to obtain the release an Afghanistan war prisoner.

So what can Obama do to reverse his declining approval so he doesn’t leave office the most hated president in history, bringing his party down in the process? Here are five current hot topics worth further consideration by his administration.

1. Income Inequality
Obama originally made this a key component at the beginning of his second term before letting the item drop off the radar. By refocusing on raising the minimum wage and decreasing the gender pay gap, there seems to be some middle ground to be reached, offering folks equal opportunity in earning potential.

2. Health Care
I’m not sure the President wants to go out with the ironic moniker of being the President who nationalized healthcare while also being the President who ruined the system. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act was a debacle, regardless of the act's intention. And a continued defensive posture on the issue doesn’t help matters.

3. National Security Agency
The recently introduced surveillance reform bill is certainly a start, but Obama needs to ensure the bill gets passed in both the Senate and the House. The public needs to feel safe that civil liberties are not being violated while at the same time feeling safe that the government is monitoring terroristic threats. This is a fine balance, without a doubt, but an imperative one to achieve after the embarrassing Snowden leaks.

4. Immigration
The item of the moment, Obama’s immigration reform created such confusion and so many loopholes, our borders are literally inundated with unaccompanied minors all trying to take advantage of the situation. Pictures of immigrants, mostly children, lying in wait in make-shift camps represent a tragic and unfortunate image for our country, and one which needs immediate remedy.

5. Foreign Policy
Obama’s position on international affairs has been called into question no more than in the past few months. Obama’s foreign policy with respect to the timing of the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, his ineffectiveness in brokering any peace talks between Israel and Palestine, obtaining Russian cooperation in the Ukraine conflict, even his stance on climate change, have all been debated at length not only domestically, but also internationally, and have eroded confidence in his administration.

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