In Search of a New Mandate

Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

Four years ago, Barack Obama was called the new Great Communicator, the heir to Ronald Reagan in oratorical talent, though not ideology. One theme running through this special Democratic Convention issue is that Obama has not been all that adept at telling his story as Commander in Chief. Some might call that modesty, but humility is not always a virtue in a President. And when you're running for re-election, you need to be able to explain to voters what you've achieved.

But as you'll see from White House correspondent Michael Scherer's revealing cover story, the President knows this. Obama is more...