In his March 2012 Atlantic cover story, James Fallows explores the U.S. president's "central mystery":
Has Obama in office been anything like the chess master he seemed in the campaign, whose placid veneer masked an ability to think 10 moves ahead, at which point his adversaries would belatedly recognize that they had lost long ago? Or has he been revealed as just a pawn—a guy who got lucky as a campaigner but is now pushed around by political opponents who outwit him and economic trends that overwhelm him?
Here, Fallows talks to Corby Kummer (who edited the story) about what Obama has learned in office and why he might do well to take a page out of George W. Bush's reelection playbook.
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