Got good news and bad news for you, Mr. President. The good news is that Chief Justice John Roberts just saved your legacy and, perhaps, your presidency by writing for the Supreme Court majority to rule health care reform constitutional.
One of Obama's most impressive attributes is his quiet confidence: Voters sense that he is comfortable in his own skin, a dedicated father and friend who won't waste time with the phony rituals of Washington.
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.
A presidential debate is a job interview. And voters look for certain traits in people applying to be president.
It's an appeal as old as America and its presidency: This is an extraordinary country populated by hard-working, big-dreaming, freedom-loving people graced by God when they're not pulling themselves up by the bootstraps.
Palin seems to have forgotten that her poll ratings have plummeted since the summer of 2011.
Romney and Democratic rival President Obama have led their partisan backers down a trail of lies, negativity and vacuous policies that seem certain to guarantee an angry electorate four more years of gridlock.
American exceptionalism is the recurring character in the nation's narrative.
Sitting in the Oval Office, beneath a painting of George Washington, with a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. over his right shoulder and a bust of Abraham Lincoln over his left shoulder, Obama told 'National Journal' that the country's economic woes are deep and endemic.
According to a Public Policy Polling survey, most Americans find lice and colonoscopies more appealing than Capitol Hill.
Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt faced adversities that, in their times, seemed impregnable. Great presidents overcome great odds.
A sagging economy, a soaring national debt, and an increasingly restive Congress pushed Obama to order troop reductions that are both deeper and faster than recommended by his military commanders.
To be fair, my analysis failed to spell out Obama's first-term accomplishments, although I did acknowledge his 'enormous skills' and tried to focus readers on the distinction between good and great presidencies.
Perhaps we should wait until his second term begins before carving Barack Obama's face in Mount Rushmore. Is that asking too much?
Historians will likely give Obama credit for steering the country away from the brink of economic collapse in 2009.
'Argo,' 'Lincoln,' and 'Zero Dark Thirty,' three films honored with Best Picture Oscar nominations, lionize their Washington-anchored protagonists as crafty, competent, and virtually incorruptible.
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.
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.
In times of tumult, voters are likely to forgive a president, if not reward him, for compromises made in service of solutions.
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.
In Washington, compromise has become a dirty word.
With gridlock the norm, Congress's approval rating is below 10 percent and the public has lost faith in its national leadership.
Obama considers himself above deal-making and back-slapping, political necessities he often delegates to Vice President Joe Biden and other lesser sorts.
Obama might do well to remember that his fast rise from the Illinois state Senate was due in large part to an uncanny ability to make friends and find mentors.