Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign slogan, “change you can
believe in” could easily be the metaphor for his short but explosive
political career. The question is whether Obama has been able to
convert that catchphrase into sweeping change of the federal
government. The president’s reelection will likely depend on it.
During his first year in office, Obama saw his approval ratings
sink and the loss of the Democrats filibuster-proof 60-seat Senate
majority with the triumph of Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts. But
in March 2010, the president managed to rally the troops and pass
historic health-care reform legislation expanding coverage to 32
million Americans and outlawing certain insurance company practices
like refusing to cover those with preexisting conditions. “This is
what change looks like,” Obama proclaimed post-vote.