Presidency

10.09.12

Defining the Real Obama, Ctd.

In a review of David Maraniss' book about Barack Obama (a book I finally abandoned in frustration) Nicholas Lemann poses a powerful question:

THIS CAMPAIGN hasn’t cleared up the fundamental mysteriousness of Obama very much. He has been uncannily successful at making Mitt Romney, not himself, the main subject of the campaign. Ask yourself: what portion of your personal campaign conversational time this season has been devoted to Romney, and what portion has been devoted to the man who is far more likely to be our president for the next four years? On Election Day 2008, would you have predicted that Obama would soon move his whole stack of chips onto the venerable liberal cause of universal health care? How clear a sense do you have now of what Obama’s second term will look like?

There certainly is no shortage of possibilities.

Dick Morris style triangulation?

Bush the Elder style protracted budget negotiations?

The aggressive use of executive orders to achieve a bold agenda stymied by Congress?

Let me ask you to post your guesses. We'll highlight the most interesting.