Ex-Time magazine editor Walter Isaacson declared in the August 25 issue that Barack Obama "can still secure his legacy" by aggressively lobbying for liberal causes. Isaacson worried, "Obamacare may be undermined if the Supreme Court guts subsidies for the federal exchanges. If so the sweeping nature of the reform will survive only if Obama mounts a rousing, state-by-state campaign to rally passion for protecting the new health benefits."
The Time editor cheered, "President Obama has scored two monumental achievements: helping to restore the financial system after the 2008 collapse and making it possible for every American to get health care coverage, even if they leave their jobs or have preexisting conditions." Isaacson's real complaints with Obama seem to be not fighting hard enough for liberalism.
The journalist and author assailed:
As for rescuing the economy, this could be remembered as a hollow victory unless the recovery restores economic opportunity for all Americans. Growing inequality—of income, wealth, and opportunity—is the economic, political, and moral issue of our time. The fundamental creed of America is that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can support your family with dignity and believe that your children will have an even better future. But that is being lost as the middle class continues to be hollowed out and the poor get left further behind.
Isaacson looked at Republican opposition and sadly declared:
For the final two years of his term, President Obama could stay above the fray and recognize that it would be pointless, given the dysfunctional nature of Congress, to try to accomplish anything significant.
A rational calculus of risks and rewards, and a sober assessment of the possibilities for accomplishing anything in Washington, would argue for that approach. But I can’t help but hope that he decides to race against the clock rather than run it out.
Ben White of Politico echoed a similar theme, lobbying the President to fight hard with his remaining time:
One senior Democrat with close ties to Hill leadership told me that "except for fundraising, it appears … POTUS has completely checked out." With over two years left on the clock, it's not too late to check back in and turn things around.