The Realist Prism: After a ‘Lost Year,’ Can Obama Regain Momentum?

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Many commentators have described 2013 as a “lost year” for the Obama administration. The enthusiasm generated by the second inaugural quickly dissipated in continued stalemates with Congress, culminating in the government shutdown in October. No major pieces of legislation were passed, nor did the United States spearhead new international initiatives. Some of this can be attributed to the famed “second-term curse.” As I noted in these pages after the president’s re-election, “Every second-term president over the past 30 years—Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush—overestimated the amount of political capital their re-election generated, and each was also distracted by […]

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