Alvin Felzenberg, on the Thomas Jefferson Street blog, asks the question some Democrats are afraid to even think: Will Obama be a one-term president? The idea was almost unfathomable during the optimistic days of Obama's election and inauguration. Since then, many feel, Obama has fallen short on his promises of "hope" and "change." He frustrated many of his most ardent 2008 supporters with his slow pace on immigration reform, gay rights, and the environment. One of his most major accomplishments, the Affordable Care Act, was hugely controversial. And most recently, the high-stakes debt drama ended with a deal that discouraging to Republicans and Democrats alike. Furthermore, the stagnating economy and an unemployment rate stuck at 9 percent are bad news for everyone.
Nevertheless, there have been a few victories for Obama—the spree of bills passed in December of 2009's lame duck Congress and the killing of Osama bin Laden in May boosted Obama's popularity. And this weekend's expected presidential campaign announcement by Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make the current field of GOP 2012 contenders even messier and more crowded. [See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP hopefuls.]
According to Felzenberg, Obama's own administration is a part of the president's undoing, with their crass handling of the deficit deal, the upcoming campaign and bin Laden's assassination. The New York Times's Helene Cooper uncovers another angle. In January 2010, Obama told Diane Sawyer in an ABC News interview he would, "rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." A year and a half later, Cooper asks, "Is he willing to try to administer the disagreeable medicine that could help the economy mend over the long term, even if that means damaging his chances for re-election?"
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