President Obama, more popular than he’s been in a long time, is nonetheless negotiating very tricky terrain. But so, too, are the supposedly triumphant Republicans, with their often obstreperous ideologically extremist Tea Party partners. Obama wants to preempt the Republicans on some legislative issues. This is already disappointing or even enraging his most ardent followers, but he’s also making a strenuous effort to win back for 2012 the independents who made his victory possible in 2008 but then voted Republican in 2010.
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