The failure of the White House and Congress to seriously address the nation's fiscal situation is certain to broaden the belief among many voters that the U.S. political system is broken.
Obama won the presidency on the strength of his message and the skills of the messenger. Now the talk of hope and change feels out of tune when so many Americans are out of work, over-mortgaged, and worried that life will be even tougher for their children.
Obama does not need to worry as much as past Democratic presidents about being labeled soft on national security - not after giving the order that led to the assassination of Osama bin Laden. No, his biggest concern is being labeled tone deaf on joblessness and debt.
Movies such as 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' in 1939 to 'Dave' in 1993 portray Washington leaders as the ultimate Everymen - decent people just like you and me, only thrust onto greatness.
Don't kid yourself. President Obama's decision to withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan before he stands for reelection is not driven by the United States' 'position of strength' in the war zone as much as it is by grim economic and political realities at home.
Climate change was a point of division between Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney. The president declared climate change a global threat, acknowledged that the actions of humanity were deepening the crisis, and pledged to do something about it if elected.
By nominating Chuck Hagel to be his Defense secretary, President Obama is putting forward an aloof contrarian who doesn't suffer fools - a striving politician who considers himself above politics.
Barack Obama won a second term but no mandate. Thanks in part to his own small-bore and brutish campaign, victory guarantees the president nothing more than the headache of building consensus in a gridlocked capital on behalf of a polarized public.
'Argo,' 'Lincoln,' and 'Zero Dark Thirty,' three films honored with Best Picture Oscar nominations, lionize their Washington-anchored protagonists as crafty, competent, and virtually incorruptible.
AP promoted me to the White House beat because I knew Clinton, his family, friends, and staff better than anybody in the national press corps. Those contacts helped me break a few stories and get my career in Washington jump-started.
Andrew Jackson was the first president to claim that the desires of the public overrode Congress's constitutional prerogatives. Virtually every president since Jackson has claimed the mantle, even while lacking two ingredients of an electoral mandate: a landslide victory and a specific agenda.
With gridlock the norm, Congress's approval rating is below 10 percent and the public has lost faith in its national leadership.
White House operatives went to great lengths to show Obama shifting focus from wars abroad to domestic issues at home.
We're living in an era of unprecedented change, and I want to be a part of documenting it.
Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt faced adversities that, in their times, seemed impregnable. Great presidents overcome great odds.
We, the people. Manifest Destiny. Conceived in liberty. Fear itself. Ask not. Morning in America. United we stand. Yes, we can. In times of great change and tumult, presidents seek to inspire beleaguered Americans by reminding them of their national identity.
Say what you want to say about the rest of his presidency, including his tone-deaf response to Katrina and a war waged in Iraq on false pretenses, Bush connected with Americans in the aftermath of 9/11 because he looked as frail and unforgiving as we felt.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most influential woman in Washington - for what she has accomplished and for what she may yet do: win the presidency.
Republicans would have preferred the court overturn the health care bill, an act that would have underscored Obama's biggest liability - the perception among voters, including those who like and trust him, that he has been ineffective.
Obama shows no sign of easing up on negativity.
Obama will learn from his mistakes.
In times of tumult, voters are likely to forgive a president, if not reward him, for compromises made in service of solutions.
Don't stigmatize in a rush to explain inexplicable evil.
Anything can go wrong in a debate, and Obama is not a perfect debater.
At the start of his second term, one wonders less about Obama's fitness than his willingness: Why doesn't he do more to build and maintain the relationships required to govern in era of polarization?
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