Today, we continue our week-long look at the Obama years and consider the legacy of the 44th president as he leaves office. Tom's guests in Studio A today are an historian and a journalist who have closely observed presidents for many years, and who can compare and contrast Mr. Obama's style and impact with some of his presidential predecessors.
Historian Taylor Branch is perhaps best known for his landmark trilogy about the civil rights era, America in the King Years, the first volume of which, Parting the Waters, 1954-63, won Branch the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1989. He is also the author of the 2009 memoir, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President, which chronicles his eight-year project to gather a sitting president’s comprehensive oral history on tape.
Journalist Michael Fletcher also joins Tom in Studio A. He is a senior writer at The Undefeated, ESPN’s online journal exploring the intersection of race, culture and sports. Before joining The Undefeated, Fletcher was a national economics reporter for The Washington Post. Before that, he covered the Obama administration and the Bush White House including Iraq war policy, efforts to restructure Social Security, and presidential trips around the globe.
Fletcher spent 13 years as a reporter at The Baltimore Sun before joining The Washington Post in 1996.
He is co-author, with Kevin Merida, of the 2007 biography, Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas.