Don't kid yourself. President Obama's decision to withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan before he stands for reelection is not driven by the United States' 'position of strength' in the war zone as much as it is by grim economic and political realities at home.
Don't underestimate questions from the crowd technology has made voters more informed than ever.
If acknowledging that racial misgivings and misunderstandings are still a part of politics and life in America, I plead guilty.
For a man who has compared himself to Theodore Roosevelt and the nation's challenges to those of the Gilded Age, Obama put forward a tepid agenda.
One side of the American psyche wants smaller government, lower taxes, and more choices for individuals, even if those choices increase risk. The other wants a strong social safety net to protect the weakest among us, even if it costs more to minimize risk.
A dose of humility goes a long way in life and in politics.
At the start of his second term, one wonders less about Obama's fitness than his willingness: Why doesn't he do more to build and maintain the relationships required to govern in era of polarization?
Movies such as 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' in 1939 to 'Dave' in 1993 portray Washington leaders as the ultimate Everymen - decent people just like you and me, only thrust onto greatness.
Hollywood has a history of raising expectations beyond Washington's reach, of appealing to the very American desire to mythologize political leaders, particularly the president.
Republicans would have preferred the court overturn the health care bill, an act that would have underscored Obama's biggest liability - the perception among voters, including those who like and trust him, that he has been ineffective.
We, the people. Manifest Destiny. Conceived in liberty. Fear itself. Ask not. Morning in America. United we stand. Yes, we can. In times of great change and tumult, presidents seek to inspire beleaguered Americans by reminding them of their national identity.
The failure of the White House and Congress to seriously address the nation's fiscal situation is certain to broaden the belief among many voters that the U.S. political system is broken.
White House operatives went to great lengths to show Obama shifting focus from wars abroad to domestic issues at home.
Political consultants are pugilists, masters in the dark art of negativity. Which is why it's surprising to hear Democrats such as Steve McMahon and Republicans like Rich Galen urging their presidential candidates to be more, well, positive.
By nominating Chuck Hagel to be his Defense secretary, President Obama is putting forward an aloof contrarian who doesn't suffer fools - a striving politician who considers himself above politics.
I've been leading newsrooms for a while now and it's been an honor serving as Editor in Chief of N.J., but I really think that my best shot at moving the needle in politics is by getting close to it - by reading, reporting, tweeting and writing.
Climate change was a point of division between Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney. The president declared climate change a global threat, acknowledged that the actions of humanity were deepening the crisis, and pledged to do something about it if elected.
Obama is capable - as evidenced by his first-term success with health care reform. But mandate-building requires humility, a trait not easily associated with him.
AP promoted me to the White House beat because I knew Clinton, his family, friends, and staff better than anybody in the national press corps. Those contacts helped me break a few stories and get my career in Washington jump-started.
You can almost see voters nodding their heads at home: The public's faith in politicians and political institutions has been on a steep and dangerous decline for decades, because elected leaders fail to deliver.
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