On January 20th of this year, Barack Obama probably had perhaps the strongest personal position to work from of any President in recent memory. Everybody wanted to hear what he had to say and many were prepared to do what he asked.
Today, he seems to have frittered away much of this authority and devalued his own brand. How else to explain that he is relying on a former president (Bill Clinton) to sell his health care agenda in Congress and it took another former president (George W Bush) to visit the Ft. Hood tragedy.