We arrived at the Oval Office for our 45-minute interview with President Obama on the morning of October 11th. After our conversation ended, the president would board Air Force One for Florida, where he was slated to hold a rally at the University of Miami before watching Vice President Joe Biden debate Rep. Paul Ryan. But now, before the tape recorders were turned on, the president and I chatted for a minute about "The Bronco Buster," the Frederic Remington sculpture next to his desk that once belonged to Theodore Roosevelt. Then, as the small talk began to eat up too much time, Obama took charge. "All right," he said briskly. "Let's fire up."
Barack Obama can no longer preach the bright 2008 certitudes of "Hope and Change." He has a record to defend this time around. And, considering the lousy hand he was dealt by George W. Bush and an obstructionist Congress, his record of achievement, from universal health care to equal pay for women, is astonishingly solid. His excessive caution is a survival trait; at a time when the ripple and fury provoked by one off-key quip can derail a campaign for days, self-editing is the price a virtuoso must pay to go the distance in the age of YouTube.
Viewed through the lens of history, Obama represents a new type of 21st-century politician: the Progressive Firewall. Obama, simply put, is the curator-in-chief of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society. When he talks about continued subsidies for Big Bird or contraceptives for Sandra Fluke, he is the inheritor of the Progressive movement's agenda, the last line of defense that prevents America's hard-won social contract from being defunded into oblivion. Read more at Rolling Stone