MY homework for an hourlong interview with President Obama last week began with reviews of his earlier speeches and interviews, and conversations with economists and political operatives. It ended around a dinner table.
That’s where, over salad and swordfish, former aides to another Democratic president, Bill Clinton, explored principal questions hanging over the coming midterm elections. How can Mr. Obama do better at defending his record and his party’s candidates from the wrath of an unhappy electorate? Why doesn’t he receive more credit for winning passage of expanded health care coverage, new financial regulations and an economic stimulus package that many independent economists say helped end the Great Recession? Why can’t he get his message out?
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