The oath of office that the President of the United States takes on assuming office is:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
That’s prescribed in Article II, Section One, Clause 8 of the Constitution. The president’s job description is contained in Article II, Sections 2 and 3:
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.
He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.
There’s nothing in it about saving the economy, seeing to it that everyone has health insurance, or fundamentally transforming the country. Only the most expansive possible reading of the law can interpret it that way. Those are all tasks left to the Congress and the states. Basically, the president’s job is to administer the federal government, enforce the laws, be the primary maker of foreign policy, and serve as the commander-in-chief of the military.
However much you like what President Obama has done outside his job description, the most fundamental way in which the job he has done should be evaluated depends on his performance in the basics of his job and there the president has left much to be desired.
I’ll just give an example from a single area of the job description. President Obama has lost more cases before the Supreme Court by a unanimous vote of the justices than any other post-war president. That can’t be attributed to partisanship.
I don’t think that the president is stupid so I think the most likely explanation is that he has a disdain for the law. That’s not a positive quality in a president and I’m very concerned that whoever is elected in November that poor example will continue.
Recently, I’ve seen a number of retrospectives of President Obama’s term of office. Those who speak glowingly of his work are grading on the curve. Being better than George W. Bush doth not a great president make.