Now we are going to see Barack Obama unconstrained. Up to this point there was always something or someone with real political leverage over Obama that played a role in shaping his policy decisions. At different points it has been the Chicago electorate, the Illinois electorate, big donors, corn farmers in Iowa, primary voters in New Hampshire, anti-Clinton Democrats, disengaged young voters, swing voters in Ohio, Hispanics in Colorado, etc… There was always another election to consider.
Now that Obama has been swear in for his second term though there will never be another election. All there is left for Obama to worry about is his post-presidential retirement and his legacy.
Different wealthy industries can at least possibly try to influence Obama with implied promises of insane riches via huge “speech fees” or cushy positions, but even that is of limited value. Obama is already a rich and guaranteed a lucrative post-presidential career. It is simply a matter of degrees at this point.
Everyone else though now has almost no influence of the man. People can basically have just two options; try appeal to sense of morality or his ego. Obama, like every President, is obviously concerned about his legacy. He won’t want to damage his place in history, but there few second decision that will be seen as raising to the level of legacy defining. It is a very small and hard to exploit leverage point.
The time when activists and regular voters had at least had some ability to force Obama’s hand, even if it was minor, is now over.