“He has sort of lost the sense of power and mystique of the presidency,” says longtime Obama ally Andy Stern, former president of the powerful Service Employees International Union. “There’s also a sense that people aren’t scared of him. That’s very dangerous.”…

But to critics and allies alike, the fact that the president of the United State has to tip-toe around Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees for the privilege of delivering a plan for putting Americans back to work is a measure of just how far he’s been humbled by an unforgiving economy, unyielding GOP and an unnerved, underemployed nation.

“He’s allowed the Congress to manhandle him, said one top Democratic ally of Obama’s. “Every time he’s put his foot down they’ve kicked him in the shin. It’s goddamn embarrassing. He’s losing power. He needs to grab it back.”…

“Bush and Cheney did everything they could to see that the prestige and power of the office was never diminished — even though it was, through their actions…says Rudalevige. “Obama hasn’t objected to exercise power — look at Libya — but it’s not a priority with him.”