“He doesn’t have to play to get re-elected anymore, which is huge,” said Chicago supporter Jim Slama, who first met Obama in 2001. “It frees him to be who he is.”…

“I’m hopeful,” said Slama. “He’ll try to play to the middle, but he’s got the Tea Party to deal with, and he can take out his baseball bat and wail away and he won’t have to worry about the implications of re-election.”

With the election of progressive Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, Obama’s long time backers feel the liberal spirit inside the president could be unleashed: climate change, gun control, and immigration reform perhaps heading to the top of the agenda. (After, that is, the “fiscal cliff.”)