With less than three weeks left before a midterm election that is looking likely to deliver heavy losses to Democrats, the New York Times Magazine has released an in-depth article, complete with presidential and staff interviews, about President Obama's reflections on the first two years of his presidency and his plans for the second half of this term. In the article, the president also shares some of his mistakes from his first two years in office.
According to excerpts from the Times, aides say that the president has been spending "a lot of time talking about Obama 2.0," brainstorming with administration officials about the best way to revamp the strategies and goals of the White House.
"It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, [Republicans] feel more responsible, either because they didn't do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn't work for them," Obama says in the article. "Or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way."
"Even if I had the exact same Congress, even if we don't lose a seat in the Senate and we don't lose a seat in the House, I think the rhythms of the next two years would inevitably be different from the rhythms of the first two years," Obama says. "There's going to be a lot of work in this administration just doing things right and making sure that new laws are stood up in the ways they're intended."
In the Times article, the president says he has regrets about allowing himself to be defined by some as "the same old tax-and-spend Democrat," was stricken too late by the reality that "there's no such thing as shovel-ready projects" and perhaps should have "let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts" in the stimulus.
Obama also says that his administration was perhaps too ambitious in chasing momentous policy initiatives while at times forsaking the more important parts of making that legislation more successful.