When British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was asked what might knock his administration off course, he famously responded, "Events, dear boy, events." There's a lot of truth to that. At any point in time, an unexpected event can throw the political world into turmoil. However, more often than not, it's not the blindside hit that gets you so much as the freight train you've seen coming for miles.
When Barack Obama came into office, he had a number of serious challenges to deal with and not only has he effectively addressed very few of them, many of them have worsened on his watch. In fact, the thing Barack Obama has proven most adept at in his first term is pointing the finger elsewhere. He may have been able to shift the blame from himself to George Bush, the filibuster, the Supreme Court, Republicans in Congress, Rush Limbaugh, ATM machines, the economy in Europe and everything under the sun, but after four years and counting in office, more and more of the American people are going to be interested in results rather than excuses. How Barack Obama handles those issues may not only determine how he's viewed by the American people, it could conceivably impact the reputation of the Democratic Party for decades.
1) When does the economy recover? At some point, you have to think that the natural vitality of the economy will reassert itself and get the country moving again. On the other hand, just as FDR's tinkering caused the Great Depression to extend out for over a decade, Obama's socialistic policies could continue to stall economic growth. Obama's determination to increase taxes, expand government, take over new industries and generally make war on productive industries and people -- along with the impact of our debt, the soft housing market, the implementation of Obamacare and the hundreds of billions of dollars in new regulations he'll impose -- will all be drags on economic growth. Can the economy recover and start pumping out jobs at a decent clip despite all of Obama's handicaps? Your job may depend on it.