“Like with President Clinton, [Obama] was elected because voters believed he was from the center, that he would bring bipartisanship or nonpartisanship to Washington,” Penn told POLITICO’s Arena. “If he moves to the center, he is being true to the Obama that they cast votes for.”

“Moving back to the center, on both policy and politics, is crucial for Obama’s reelection, strengthening his party, and most importantly, having a shot at bipartisan progress in the next two years,” added Jonathan Cowan, president of the centrist think tank Third Way.

But while many are advising Obama to take a middle-of-the-road approach in the latter half of his term, others insisted that the president stay firm and not shift to the center.