Obama has been president for nearly four years. Aided by a huge Democratic majority from 2009 to 2011, he achieved some big things — massive stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank. He even won the Nobel Peace Prize, essentially for showing up. But he hasn’t achieved, and won’t achieve in four more years, the “fundamental transformation” of American society that he envisioned. And his entire career suggests that by now he should be angling for a bigger, better job. The problem is, there isn’t such a position — and a second term in the same old job doesn’t count. The chief benefit of winning re-election to a second term might simply be to avoid being labeled a loser, to avoid joining Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush as presidents who couldn’t win a second time.
So if his liberal supporters sense signs of boredom and frustration in the president, they might be right. I wrote about this in a January 2010 column that began, “This is about the time Barack Obama becomes bored with his job.” Back then, he had just passed a year in office — about the time, in the past, that his restlessness and ambition began to kick in.
Now, years later, the problem is only worse.