"Like [name of big-state governor], the president has taken on a string of big issues--[Afghanistan], a drastic foreign-policy overhaul, judges, plus [health care]--with predictable results. These are issues that generate political conflict. They upset settled practice, rile various institutions, stir strong opposition, and keep poll ratings low. For an activist president, lack of popularity is part of the package. "
"Crossing the finish line of his presidency with record low popularity may turn out to be a sign of substantive achievement and lasting reform."