If The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza is right, we might be in for four more years of compromise on things like climate change and nuclear proliferation. Lizza has an article this week forecasting Obama's second term, or rather, what Obama's advisers want you to know about the President's second term.
Don't expect much. Obama and his team aren't revealing their cards on the pressing issues like the economy (Lizza mentions there's time for one big policy change) or inflammatory issues like same-sex marriage. And their lack of specifics about the President's second term has been a story in itself, especially when contrasted with Mitt Romney who has already imagined his first days in the White House. As Lizza reports, the message that the president's team wants out there is that Obama will be banking on bipartisan support (a word that's peppered the president's first term) to maybe get things done in the short time he has:
Obama has an ambitious second-term agenda, which, at least in broad ways, his campaign is beginning to highlight. The President has said that the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change, one of the few issues that he thinks could fundamentally improve the world decades from now. He also is concerned with containing nuclear proliferation. In April, 2009, in one of the most notable speeches of his Presidency, he said, in Prague, “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” He conceded that the goal might not be achieved in his lifetime but promised to take “concrete steps,” including a new treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons and ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty....
Whatever goal Obama decides on, his opportunities for effecting change are slight. Term limits are cruel to Presidents. If he wins, Obama will have less than eighteen months to pass a second wave of his domestic agenda, which has been stalled since late 2010 and has no chance of moving this year. His best opportunity for a breakthrough on energy policy, immigration, or tax reform would come in 2013. By the middle of 2014, congressional elections will force another hiatus in Washington policymaking.
The full piece can be found in The New Yorker.