Can He Step Up His Game?

Obama's next move: if he can't fix the economy, make sure the Republicans get the blame

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Obama, at an August town hall meeting in Illinois, will try to regain the initiative in September

In June, weeks before the stock market tanked and the nation got downgraded, White House chief of staff Bill Daley arranged a secret retreat for his senior team at Fort McNair, a leafy 18th century Army base near the southern tip of the District of Columbia. Historian Michael Beschloss went along as a guest speaker to help answer the one question on everyone's mind: How does a U.S. President win re-election with the country suffering unacceptably high rates of unemployment?

The historian's lecture provided a lift for Barack Obama's team. No iron law in politics is ever 100% accurate, Beschloss told...

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