Kevin McCarthy

Hope, cynicism run high for second Obama term

Hope, cynicism run high for second Obama term

— Four years after he rode into the White House on a message of change, President Barack Obama is set to begin his second term Monday amid lowered expectations and a sense that his re-election has done little to alter the nation's fractured political landscape.

Despite talk about a major overhaul of immigration policy and a comprehensive plan to deal with gun violence, the Obama administration will immediately shift from the celebratory mood of the inaugural to another bitter, pressing fight with congressional Republicans over spending, taxes and budget deficits.

How much Obama can accomplish in his next term is anyone's guess, but few expect a continuation of the sweeping...