Confident that the economy is finally on a true path toward stability, Mr. Obama and his aides have hinted that he would seek to tackle some of the grand but unrealized promises of his first campaign, including the sort of immigration overhaul that has
eluded presidents of both parties for decades.
More seasoned and scarred, less
prone to grandiosity and perhaps even less idealistic, Mr. Obama returns for a second term with a Congress still at least partly controlled by an opposition party that will claim a mandate of its own.
Though many Republicans still see no
impetus for drastic change, there does seem to be a growing consensus that the party needs to somehow repair its relations with the nation’s Hispanics, a group that has socially and fiscally conservative tendencies and one in which Republicans enjoyed some success during the administration of former President George W. Bush.