Obama appears emboldened by his election victory, his confidence apparent around the White House and in his dealings with Republicans in Congress.
The broad outlines of his second term are already taking shape. When he initially jotted down his list of aims, gun control was not on it. Now it is a central issue, with proposed legislation planned for early this year - opening the way for confrontation with the gun lobby as well as members of Congress, predominantly the Republican party. …
Republicans are coming round to the prospect of immigration reform, having been punished by Latino voters. A path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants may be a step too far for many Republicans but they could put into legislation the Dream Act, building on Obama’s executive order legalising the position of young Latinos brought to the US illegally by their parents.
Other priorities for a second term on the domestic front include steering the economy towards full recovery and consolidating healthcare reforms introduced in the first term but not due to start until 2014.