On November 6, Americans reaffirmed President Obama’s agenda by re-electing him. The New York Times’ Jodi Kantor says that this second term gives the president a chance to show what he’s learned from his at times tumultuous first term in office, and make good on the promise that he will be a “transformational president.” Talking with MSNBC’s Chris Jansing on Tuesday, the author of The Obamas, a book which presented an intimate picture and humanized look at the president and First Lady, said:
“The president has had one of the great learning curves in political history. When he came to Washington in January 2009 he really didn’t have a ton of Washington experience, managerial experience, national security experience, economic experience. He has all of those things now, and he’s acquired all of that knowledge the hard way. I think it’s very interesting, even the administration’s language, has been very much about lessons learned, things we’d like to do differently this time.”
Right now, President Obama has a “rare and valuable” chance to not only rewrite his first term, but also to create the kind of bipartisan change that he first ran, and won on, in 2008, according to Kantor.
The apparent change of heart of Congress to negotiate, combined with an application of what Obama has learned in office so far, could help the president break the “second term” curse, and solidify his legacy, she added. The president has always been legacy-conscious and Kantor noted that he frequently said “I want to leave something behind.” This second term is his chance to do so.