Second-term presidents have about a year to spend their re-election capital on ambitious political initiatives. Obama’s honeymoon period was rockier than most. His push for tighter gun control after the Newtown tragedy went nowhere, immigration reform stalled, and his Syrian strategy was a jumble of false starts. In the fall, the dismal rollout of Obamacare dragged his poll numbers to record lows, as the signature legislative accomplishment of his first term threatened to sink his second.
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