Obama's take-it-to-the-people approach also differs from that in his first term when he pressed for what became an unpopular spending package aimed at reviving the economy and a sweeping health care overhaul. The measures passed, in large part due to congressional Democratic majorities.
But some say the Democrats lost big in the 2010 mid-term election because Obama didn't bother selling the health care overhaul — a situation he's likely trying to avoid again.
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Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.