For Obama, a Transcendent Win Still Not Assured
Presidents live in a world of wins and losses quickly forgotten. Rarely are they presented with the kind of defining moment that President Barack Obama experienced when the Supreme Court upheld his health care law.
It’s one that will transcend his presidency, change America’s social safety net and shape how he is likely to be remembered.
Then there’s the catch.
If Obama does not win a second term in November, he risks losing both the law and the core of his legacy. Republican Mitt Romney will try to gut the law and impose something else. All the rest of what Obama accomplishes will fall under the dimmer view of history assigned to one-term presidents.
Immediate attention isn’t on the lasting consequences. Right now, the campaign retains its focus and remains a biting contest between two men with vastly different visions about how to fix the economy.
Obama’s re-election message is not expected to differ because of the ruling. But his presidency has changed.
Where others failed, he succeeded, pushing through a plan to get basic health coverage to millions of uninsured people in the richest nation on earth.