Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 12:41 pm
As a second-term president, Barack Obama necessarily generates less excitement than he did as a newcomer. Above, flags flew during his 2009 inauguration.
Credit Eric Purcell / FlickrVision via Getty Images
Feelings of hope and change have mostly faded.
The country is in better shape than it was when Barack Obama became president four years ago. The economy is no longer in free fall, and the nation has for the most part extricated itself from seemingly endless wars abroad.
Yet as Obama prepares to enter his second term, there seems to be less optimism about his ability to address the nation's problems than was the case when he first entered the White House.
Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.
President Obama says he's willing to use "whatever power his office holds" to stop gun violence, but the fate of many of his White House proposals will rest in no small part with one man: the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
As workers prepare the Capitol for Monday's inaugural ceremony, there's word that Congress might not get into another battle over the debt ceiling.
Credit Kevin Dietsch / UPI /Landov
In a move that could head off another bruising battle over increasing the nation's debt ceiling, GOP leaders in the House plan to approve a three-month increase in the nation's borrowing authority next week, NPR's S.V. Date reports.
But, he tells our Newscast Desk, Republicans want to tie a longer-term increase to the passage of a budget that cuts spending.
His report continues:
"The plan comes from Majority Leader Eric Cantor as House Republicans wrap up a retreat in Southern Virginia.