Top 10 Political Stories for 2011: Page 5 of 11

Top 10 Political Stories for 2011



Then-Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE pulled off a sizable feat during this 2008 campaign: he presented himself, simultaneously, as a more passionate pursuer of traditional Democratic objectives than Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE, and as a candidate capable of reaching beyond the partisan divide to unite Democrat and Republicans.

The tension between these two ideas has been one of the running themes of his presidency, never more so than this year.

Obama has sometimes sought to present himself as “the adult in the room,” willing to invite Democratic criticism for the greater good of the nation, as when he sought a grand debt bargain with Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE.

At other times, the president has sought to fire up his base with an appeal centered upon an orthodox liberal view of issues like income inequality and the dangers of untrammeled corporate power.

The quest for a clear crystallization of his reelection message has so far borne little fruit.

His recent speech in Kansas, in which he invoked President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 call for a “New Nationalism” looked like an attempt to build a more populist platform. 

Here are The Hill’s choices for the 10 most important political stories of the year:

Bin Laden | Giffords | Dissent
Message? | Economy | GOP's reign
Reid & McConnell | Debt ceiling | The wire | GOP candidates