When Jonathan Bernstein criticizes President Obama and his Administration for effectively playing to 'news cycles' while promising to stay away from such 'media rides' early on; I think he forgets a key point - that conducting Administration so as not to give new avenues of criticism is a valid and prudent way of conducting an electoral office. So long as Obama Administration did not make explicit 'chase' for Media moments or undertook 'harm to nation's interests' while purchasing a favorable treatment in Media; there is much less basis to criticize Obama Administration for its prudence with regards to Media. That is just the other side of 'no drama Obama'.
But let us keep aside all these 'nice to haves' features. Let us focus on the core failure of President Obama - never to grasp centrality of maneuvering Congress for his domestic agenda nor showing aptitude to read public mood so as to manage political pressure points within the Congress to achieve something. Now, not only Americans have given up on him to achieve anything legislatively; he himself has given upon his tenure to move forward any such credible agenda.
Immigration is one such serious issue where President Obama can make political life of its opponents extremely uncomfortable. It is to watch next year if indeed he is still ready to play the role and his duty of 'the man in the arena' rather than being content with a 'care taking presidency' and few foreign policy victories instrumented by an old work horse Sec. Kerry.