Ruffini sees how Obama is leveraging his popularity:

Too much of what passes for sea changes in public opinion on policy are in fact residual effects of a narrow partisan advantage magnified by the huge personal popularity of that party's leader. This is how JFK's political position was never seriously dented or in doubt. Or how Ronald Reagan always seemed to bounce back from serious political crises. In Reagan's case, the Gipper's personal magnetism created an opportunity to move the country to the right. Obama is now doing the same for the left.

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