As Barack Obama contends for a second term in office, two conflicting narratives of his presidency have emerged. Is he a skillful political player and policy visionary--a chess master who always sees several moves ahead of his opponents? Or is he politically clumsy and out of his depth--a pawn overwhelmed by events, at the mercy of a second-rate staff and of the Republicans?
James Fallows' recent Atlantic cover story, " Obama, Explained," examines Obama's first term in office.
"And for those who supported [Obama] the first time, as I did? To me, the evidence suggests that given a second term, he would have a better chance of becoming the figure so many people imagined," Fallows " wrote in his Atlantic story .
Fallows was also on NPR to discuss the article.
"If there is a main lesson I tried to convey in this article, it is that every president fails, and every president starts out his first term not knowing many of the things that are most important about doing the job," he said on NPR with Guy Raz.
Fallows main question is much harder to answer than you'd expect. It was interesting to hear that Fallows thought he would get an interview with Obama, but had to change his piece when he wasn't able to speak to the president.