"I didn’t know how steep the climb was going to be"

When he had power, he didn’t use it. He wanted to be a “transformational” president like Ronald Reagan, but failed to understand that Reagan’s strategic shows of strength allowed him to keep the whip hand without raising his voice.

And now, just when the high school principal in the Oval has been browbeating Congress to help create jobs, he is once more distracted from that task as he tries to save his own.

He goes to fund-raisers to tell people to stick with him, but he seems to be trying to reassure himself.

“I have to admit,” the president said in Chicago, “I didn’t know how steep the climb was going to be.”