But the fact that this is happening should come as no surprise to anyone who has actually been listening to the President. Last fall I suggested that we should all be prepared to keep working after the election was over. President Obama said it loud and clear...
To Michael Scherer:
But for me to get those accomplished, I do think I’m going to need to bring in the voices of the American people much more systematically, much more regularly.In his speech at the Democratic Convention with its focus on citizenship:
Finding the right mechanisms to do that is something that we’re going to spend a lot of time thinking about. Obviously, the Internet and the digital age helps. We’ve been able to do that on our campaign. We now need to translate that more to how our government works. But I think the American people are ready for it.
But we also believe in something called citizenship — citizenship, a word at the very heart of our founding, a word at the very essence of our democracy, the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations...To Michael Lewis:
As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That's what we believe.
It’s not a fear-versus-a-nice-guy approach that is the choice. The question is: How do you shape public opinion and frame an issue so that it’s hard for the opposition to say no.At a Univision forum:
I think that I’ve learned some lessons over the last four years, and the most important lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside. That’s how I got elected, and that’s how the big accomplishments like health care got done, was because we mobilized the American people to speak out. That’s how we were able to cut taxes for middle-class families.Now is the time.
So something that I’d really like to concentrate on in my second term is being in a much more constant conversation with the American people so that they can put pressure on Congress to help move some of these issues forward.
None of us want to think about the day 4 years from now when President Obama's second term is over. But as our Community Organizer-in-Chief, this is likely to be his true legacy.