Doug Mills, Associated Press
President Barack Obama speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, to announce the U.S. will end its approach to Cuba.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is using a streak of recent activism to shake up the governing status quo and create a new normal for his successors.

Obama has taken aggressive steps on immigration, Internet access, climate change and Cuba. With them, he is laying down a foundation that while fragile and subject to change is defining how he enters the final two years of his presidency and what he leaves for the next White House occupant.

Aides and advisers say that even if Obama's actions can be undone, he is giving the public a taste of change that would be difficult to reverse.

His actions have also exposed cracks in the Republican Party, particularly on immigration and his new Cuba outreach.