Those people would see a president who is bound to look a little grayer and sound more reflective across another term, as he has in his first. He already claims a rank of seniority on the world stage, where elections and political turmoil have led to major leadership changes from Europe to Asia. And the team surrounding Obama each day will look different, too.
Historians who know Obama know he is mindful of leaving a consequential legacy. An immigration overhaul and perhaps tax changes would help cement a legacy built on his health care law, an economic recovery, Wall Street regulation, the killing of Osama bin Laden and the appointment of two Supreme Court justices so far.
Trouble is, Obama is almost certain to be operating in the same divided government that stymied him in the second half of his term.
Republicans have a chance to win control of the Senate or at least shrink the Democrats' margin. And the House appears likely to remain safely Republican in the coming election.
Obama's political calculus is that his re-election itself would force Republicans to heed the American people and work with him because they will no longer need to try to defeat him. On a matter such as immigration, he is betting that Republicans will have to compromise with him or risk alienating Hispanics and undermining their party for decades.
It is all assuming a lot on his part.
In compliance with Deseret News policy, comments will not be posted on political stories and editorials from now until the polls close Tuesday, Nov. 6.
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