Just 11 weeks removed from a sweeping re-election victory, President Barack Obama has hit the ground running with an ambitious second-term agenda that includes tackling the mounting national debt, immigration and gun control.
But the window in which the president has any hopes of meeting his aggressive goals has already begun to close.
Confronting the fading effectiveness of a second-term presidency, dogged opposition from Republicans in Congress and unexpected hurdles that will inevitably arise over the next four years, Obama must act with a sense of urgency on his plans, particularly amid the fiscal cliff negotiations.
“Second-term presidents generally get eight months or so … where there’s a honeymoon to push an agenda,” said James Thurber, the director of Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University. “He doesn’t even have a month.”