Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt faced adversities that, in their times, seemed impregnable. Great presidents overcome great odds.
By nominating Chuck Hagel to be his Defense secretary, President Obama is putting forward an aloof contrarian who doesn't suffer fools - a striving politician who considers himself above politics.
'Argo,' 'Lincoln,' and 'Zero Dark Thirty,' three films honored with Best Picture Oscar nominations, lionize their Washington-anchored protagonists as crafty, competent, and virtually incorruptible.
President Obama is casting his lot in the middle of a debate as old as America itself: Are we rugged individualists pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps? Or are we a nation of community, all connected and counting on one another?
It's an appeal as old as America and its presidency: This is an extraordinary country populated by hard-working, big-dreaming, freedom-loving people graced by God when they're not pulling themselves up by the bootstraps.
Christie led the way - with a bulldozer. The governor is blunt, brash, and self-consciously authentic, the antithesis to what turns off today's voters: flip-flopping politicians who speak in poll-tested platitudes. Yes, he's the anti-Romney.
Close elections tend to break toward the challenger because undecided voters - having held out so long against the incumbent - are by nature looking for change.
Got good news and bad news for you, Mr. President. The good news is that Chief Justice John Roberts just saved your legacy and, perhaps, your presidency by writing for the Supreme Court majority to rule health care reform constitutional.
Movies such as 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' in 1939 to 'Dave' in 1993 portray Washington leaders as the ultimate Everymen - decent people just like you and me, only thrust onto greatness.
Climate change was a point of division between Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney. The president declared climate change a global threat, acknowledged that the actions of humanity were deepening the crisis, and pledged to do something about it if elected.
Obama considers himself above deal-making and back-slapping, political necessities he often delegates to Vice President Joe Biden and other lesser sorts.
The problem, gentlemen, is that Obama is right: The promise of upward mobility is dying in America, and no amount of political demagoguery will fix it.
We're living in an era of unprecedented change, and I want to be a part of documenting it.
If history is a guide, a victory for Obama means he faces the prospect of a second term dogged by scandal or inertia.
Obama shows no sign of easing up on negativity.
Sitting in the Oval Office, beneath a painting of George Washington, with a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. over his right shoulder and a bust of Abraham Lincoln over his left shoulder, Obama told 'National Journal' that the country's economic woes are deep and endemic.
This is Romney's biggest political weakness. His policy flip-flops and the general sense that he's not comfortable in his own skin leads voters, including many supporters, wondering about his core values.
For a man who has compared himself to Theodore Roosevelt and the nation's challenges to those of the Gilded Age, Obama put forward a tepid agenda.
If Mitt Romney is vanilla, Chris Christie is three hefty scoops of Rocky Road topped with whipped cream, Red Bull, and gravel.
We, the people. Manifest Destiny. Conceived in liberty. Fear itself. Ask not. Morning in America. United we stand. Yes, we can. In times of great change and tumult, presidents seek to inspire beleaguered Americans by reminding them of their national identity.