“The fallout has led to questions about the president’s effectiveness, his resolve and his general ability to lead, at home and abroad.”
For The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin and David Nakamura report: The week after his reelection, President Obama was a man full of promise and promises: His job-approval rating stood at 54 percent, the 2010 tea party wave that had knocked his first term off balance appeared to have receded, and he seemed as sober about the future as he was hopeful.
“The wreckage of 2013 had similar effects on the combatants: The president’s approval ratings took a nose dive, and Congress’s were even worse. Gallup reported that 42 percent of the public approved of Obama’s performance as the new year dawned.”
“With respect to the issue of mandate, I’ve got one mandate . . . to help middle-class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class,” he said at a news conference in the East Room of the White House in November 2012. Obama acknowledged the dangers of “presidential overreach in second terms,” but he put forward an expansive, legacy-building agenda: a major fiscal deal, immigration reform and action on climate change.
“Every decision that has been made has been based on political calculation. You live by the political sword, you die by it.”
Two bruising years later, he has registered progress only on addressing climate change, and a president who once boasted of a barrier-breaking liberal coalition is under fire from his own party as his Republican rivals are poised to make gains in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Read the rest of this entry »