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The Run-Up

By MICHAEL BARBARO

In the waning days of his presidency, Barack Obama is waging a final battle — not over legislation or a Supreme Court seat, but over how he will be remembered. In the latest episode of The Run-Up, we explore what, exactly, the Obama legacy will be.

The president is aggressively telling his version, through a major speech broadcast on prime-time TV, interviews and a forthcoming book. But President-elect Donald J. Trump is telling a very different version, through tweets, speeches and news conferences.

Who’s will win out? I speak with David Leonhardt, an op-ed columnist at The New York Times who chronicled the Obama administration from the start, and Jodi Kantor, a reporter whose book, “The Obamas,” was just reissued with a new preface.

Audio | The Run-Up | Obama’s Legacy How will history remember Barack Obama? We discuss on The Run-Up.

Our wide-ranging conversation explores Mr. Obama’s impact on race, health care, economic inequality and America’s place in the world. And we seek to answer a question historians may puzzle over for decades: Just how consequential was this presidency compared with past White Houses?

I speak as well to former Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts about whether Mr. Obama’s relationship with Republican lawmakers had to be so adversarial, polarizing and partisan. Who was to blame? Could Mr. Obama have done more to get things done using executive orders?

Mr. Frank is blunt. “Absolutely not,” he says. “You had a Republican majority in both houses that (A) was determined to undercut him politically and (B) did not care if the government was dysfunctional because they don’t like government anyway. And to the extent, by the way, that a failure for the government to perform discredited government, that was a further benefit as far as they’re concerned.”

How do I listen? Two ways

From a desktop or laptop, you can listen by pressing play on the button above.

Or if you’re on a mobile device, the instructions below will help you find and subscribe to the series.

On your iPhone or iPad:

1. Open your podcast app. It’s a pre-loaded app called “Podcasts” with a purple icon. (This link may help.)

2. Search for the series. Tap on the “search” magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen, type in “The Run-Up” and select it from the list of results.

3. Subscribe. Once on the series page, tap on the “subscribe” button to have new episodes sent to your phone free. You may want to adjust your notifications to be alerted when a new episode arrives.

4. Or just sample. If you would rather listen to an episode or two before deciding to subscribe, tap on the episode title from the list on the series page. If you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to stream the episode.

On your Android phone or tablet:

1. Open your podcast app. It’s a pre-loaded app called “Play Music” with an orange-and-yellow icon. (This link may help.)

2. Search for the series. Click on the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen, search for the name of the series and select it from the list of results. You may have to scroll down to find the “Podcasts” search results.

3. Subscribe. Once on the series page, click on the word “subscribe” to have new episodes sent to your phone free.

4. Or just sample. If you would rather listen to an episode or two before deciding to subscribe, click on the episode title from the list on the series page. If you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to stream the episode.

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