I think it is too early to discuss Obama's performance. He's been in office a little over five years, not eight. That said, here's how I would score it today.
Inherited what could have been a complete collapse of the financial system. Drove and expanded upon emergency actions started by his predecessor to stabilize the system. Saved the US auto industry. Some economists say he should have done more in terms of public spending but I'm not in complete agreement there. Made some clever moves to put money into the bottom of the food chain like cutting the employee contribution to Social Security to 4% for a while that are completely underappreciated in terms of their stimulus value. The economy is growing slowly and he is taking heat for that but I'd rather that than a bubble. If I didn't have a job I might feel otherwise.
The reality is that our overall tax rate is too low. We've been cutting spending hard and still have a pretty big deficit. I know that some will trot out a list of programs they want to cut, but the reality is we need good infrastructure, we want a strong military, it is to all of our benefit to maintain a basic social safety net and we need to pony up and pay for it. Obama repealed one Bush tax cut (kind of). I would have been happy if he'd just let it expire full out. I understand that tax increases at the low end of the spectrum would have hurt the economy but he gave up too much at the high end of the spectrum to make up for what he preserved. To get an A here (in my book), we'd have to go back to the 2000 tax rate and that was never going to happen, but he still gets a C.
We need a national healthcare solution. The idea that those who can't pay just die or get so ill that they go to the emergency room, get very expensive treatments for what could have been prevented with decent preventive care, get charged 5x what they would have to pay if they had insurance, refuse to pay, are hounded by the hospital and then hounded by collection agencies that the hospitals sell the debt to is just absurd, but that was the system Obama inherited. Every US citizen who has healthcare insurance should want everyone else to have it as well to prevent this ridiculous and expensive cycle. The solution selected is not the best but it is a start. The rollout should have been a lot better. Obama gets some credit here for fighting off the horde in Congress that is doing everything possible to trip him up. If a Republican proposed this solution, they would all be behind it. After all, it was created by a Republican think tank.
Category 1: Iraq: B
Gets points for getting us out, loses points for it taking so long, but I'd rather a considered withdrawal than a knee jerk response. Plus there is some merit to the "you broke it you own it" system. I'm sure some will disagree because the government there seems to be losing ground, but that was going to happen no matter when we left. The idea that we could impose a style of government on a population that wasn't ready for or didn't want is was always a pipe dream.
Category 2: Afganistan: D+
We're still there? There is a difference between a considered response and dragging your feet.
Category 3: Gitmo: D-
Not an F because Congress actively tried to block him here but I didn't see a lot of effort to change the status quo either.
Category 4: Arab Spring: B
I think Obama realized a lot more than the talking heads that the Arab Spring was not about the US or the West or Democracy, it was about the self determination of the citizens of various countries. Some people were critical that the US didn't swoop in and "help" but I fail to see where the US would do anything constructive and saw lots of places where it could have made things much worse. As it was unfolding I was strongly of the opinion that less is more and I'm happy that Obama was restrained in his response. Those who want to claim that the US is arranging uprisings throughout the Middle East really don't have much to stand on.
4A1: Libya revolution: B
The rebels did fine without us putting boots or arms on the ground. I thought the argument that we lost influence with the new government by not taking a more active role in supporting them to be intentionally deceptive. The reality is that Libya and the US are not all that close economically or strategically and letting Europe take the lead makes a lot of sense.
4A2: Bengazi: N/A
I say N/A because this is the biggest non-scandal of the decade. To listen to those pushing this, you would think the Bengazi was the most important place in Libya and the US military has troops on standby all over the world to rush in when civilians call if only the State Department would let them help. When Congress approves funds to keep platoons of Marines stationed at every secondary embassy around the world and the State Department refuses their help, let me know. Until then, this is a tragic event that doesn't reflect on the President in any way I can see.
4B: Syria: C
This is still ongoing so history may revise this and I'm sure others will have a different opinion. My take is the US should have minimal involvement in an open civil war in Syria. The old government was not particularly to our liking, the new government will likely not be to our liking, we don't have as big a stake in what happens in Syria as the talking heads would have us believe and I'm pretty sure whatever action we take there will be unintended consequences. I'm happy sending humanitarian support and working with Europe on sanctions. I guess I give Obama lower marks here for waffling instead of making a clear statement of what the US is going to do. Don't tell people you are going to help if you aren't.
4C: Iran: A+
Delicate situation managed perfectly while others around you are losing their minds. Obama worked with allies, took effective actions (sanctions), kept the door open for negotiations, fended off lunatics in the US and in Iran and kept a low enough profile that nationalistic fervor in Iran did not rise up and squash moderate voices. Add to that a crushing defeat for AIPAC trying to drive us to war and you have a virtuoso performance.
Category 5: Ukraine: A so far.
If Syria is a work in progress, Ukraine is just getting started. Some Congressman said Russia is playing chess while we play marbles. I think Obama is a more knowledgable player or perhaps this crisis just plays to his conservative nature. Just to keep up the chess analogy, the Russian Gambit has not been met with the Kneejerk Defense where the players are drawn into a free for all where the attacker has all the advantages, but with the International Defense where after extending his forces the attacker faces pressure all across the board for the remainder of the game. The truth is that the US has no strategic interests in the Ukraine. None. Europe is another story. Working closely with the Europeans and helping rather than leading is an absolute perfect response at this point. The situation is volatile and that could change but I'm with Obama on this one so far.
NSA Scandal: F
Obama just doesn't get this one and that doesn't make sense given his background. The fix for this one could be as simple as saying "I will personally review every single request that goes to the FISA court and ensure that it is appropriately focused and does not over-reach." At this point I still don't know that I would trust him to do so or to make the right calls, but it would be a start. Just saying "9-11 blah blah blah, National Security blah blah blah" is just ridiculous.
IRS Scandal: N/A
I'm glad to know the Preisdent of the US does not micromanage an IRS field office in Ohio.
Interaction with Congress: C+
This could be lower except the Republicans are so clearly insane it's hard to see where he could do better. Poor marks for sequester, spending cuts, nominations. A very strong mark for gutting government shutdown and default as tools to extort concessions.
Interaction with the Press: F
I was expecting more open government, not more secretive government.
Civil Rights (excluding NSA): B+
I had this scored lower but after putting down the details I raised it. The big story of Obama's terms will by gay rights. Obama started off pretty far behind me where he did not support gay marriage and was luke warm supporting gay rights in general. I think his evolution in supporting gay rights closely matches that of the country in general. When Obama finally flipped over to supporting gay rights, he brought along a lot of the Black community which was long a strong bastion of homophobia and for that I think he deserves credit. Also under his term, the military ditched don't ask, don't tell. As an ex-military person I think that removes a large black mark on our military that I am glad is gone. I also thought his statements both during his first campaign and in the aftermath of the Trevon Martin verdict were some of the best conversations on race that we've had as a country in a long time. Heck, I even thought his considered, restrained remarks about the Washington Redskins was right on the money. On the down side, voting rights are facing attacks all across the South and without the Voting Act, the Justice Department is going to have to be on their game. I'm not sure they are.
Some people complain about the rate at which the Obama administration deports people. I personally don't have an issue with Obama enforcing the law since that is his job. I think his efforts to actually address the source of the problem have been lackluster. His grade would have been a lot lower but since Congress isn't going to make any effort at all, I can't really fault him for not spending his time hitting his head against a wall. Still he could have done more.