Whatever view is taken about Barack Obama’s politics, or the overall record of his presidency, it must be admitted that in terms of “family values”, Barack and Michelle Obama have been quite remarkable exemplars of domestic virtue.

Over a span of eight years, with two daughters growing through their teenage years – which can often be tempestuous – there have been no personal scandals whatsoever. No mistresses, no divorces, no misbehaviour, no wild parties, no drugs, no excessive drinking, no shady friends or companions, no dodgy financial deals: nothing. The conduct of the Obamas has been, on all personal and familial levels, impeccable.

Any Christian foundation wishing to uphold the template of the nuclear family of faithful spouses and responsibly raised children could take the Obamas as paragons of the type. In their personal dealings, moreover, they have shown what Americans call “class” – that is, social grace. Barack Obama’s thank-you letters to those who wrote to him were models of thoughtfulness and courtesy.

Black Americans claim that race relations can still be tense in the US, but they cannot deny that the Obamas have been a model family for African-Americans.

Some of us regret that Barack Obama has shown such unstinting support for Planned Parenthood, which has been in trouble for selling off foetal parts of aborted infants. But PP did remit $38 million to the Democratic Party for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, so certain alliances always figure in politics.

In the light of history, Barack Obama may not emerge as an unqualified success as president. His foreign policy did little to advance peace and stability in the Middle East. Indeed, the toll of human misery, suffering and desperate refugees is at least partly due to American, and Western, misjudgments.

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