Can Barack Obama fulfil his second term promises?


Ezra Klein of the Washington Post is one of the most eminently readable of all East Coast commentators. He picks up the now familiar theme that Obama's first term was a kind of consolidation of America - in which a base was put underneath an economy in freefall - and that his second term will try to radically change American society.

Broadly, Klein approves of Obama's legislative agenda. But he reflects on the vast, perhaps even insuperable, political impediments to its fulfilment: "The Obama administration still hopes to make big changes in immigration, gun controltax reform and other policy areas. Perhaps that optimism will prove justified. But even if it can’t persuade Congress to make anything better, the administration will have its work cut out convincing Congress that it should stop making the recovery worse."

His piece is similar in tone and optimism to Amol's column for the Evening Standard earlier this week.