President Obama's first year in office ends on an uncertain note, in terms of his relationship with his base: health care will likely pass in a form liberal activists aren't so pleased with, Guantanamo Bay won't be closed on the promised timeline, and the president has taken criticism for both. But Andrew Sullivan reminds us of some reasons for Obama's supporters to be pleased with their man so far: the end of enhanced interrogation, the remaking of America's image abroad, a plan to leave Afghanistan, the pending arrival of universal health care that's projected to actually reduce the deficit, a roll-back of the war on drugs, and a better relationship with Russia--all pulled off with calmness and civility by the president. Looked at in that light, one remembers that a lot of things are, in fact, different under Obama--whether that's enough, and whether enough things have changed, is a matter of opinion.

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