"His relations with Congress have been so poor for so long, I just don't see much on the radar screen to suggest things will improve for him or his agenda," Ms. Bowman said. "He just hasn't reached out very much and that's one of the failures of his presidency. I'm not sure you can repair that in the last two years."
"It's going to be battles of inches rather than yards," said Karlyn Bowman, a specialist on politics and polling at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. "Obama's going to try to do a lot of things by executive action because everything will slow down further in Congress."