U.S. President Barack Obama reacts as after signing the $1.1 Trillion Government Funding Bill into Law at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington December 18, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Obama has offered Americans an alternative vision for his own eighth and final year in the Oval Office.Obama has proved himself remarkably adept at cauterizing the loss of power.He watched the Supreme Court enshrine gay marriage into law and tentatively agreed a vast trans-Pacific trade deal that gives teeth to his "pivot to Asia" and could shape geopolitics in the Pacific for generations.His approval ratings – although dented by fears about Daesh terror after the San Bernardino attack – are around 45 percent, higher than Bush's and roughly the same as Reagan's at the same point.Publicly, at least, Obama is optimistic about dealing with the opposition-dominated Congress, even after being repeatedly burned – even if it is an election year, and even if disdain for the 44th president is a rare issue upon which Republicans can all agree.As a presidential candidate, Obama criticized George W. Bush over executive overreach.Neither does Obama want to run out the clock on his presidency.
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