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Chris Stirewalt | Obama Sets Stage for Nasty Fights Ahead





Some on the left complain that he did not reject or even bother to defend his  drone-based, kill-listed policy for dealing with Islamist militants. Others  thought he could have been even throatier in his calls for government  action.

But Obama, echoing his campaign theme and with a couple of jabs at  conservatives, made the case for activist, liberal government and liberal  orthodoxy on social issues. He chose a venue more associated with calls for  unity and an absence of divisive topics to reprise the themes of his campaign,  stretching back to his speech in Osawatomie, Kan. in December 2011.

His message to his supporters was that he would no longer let political  calculation trump ideology. He would cease to hide his affections for them and  for traditional liberalism that he had hushed since his successful primary  campaign of 2008. And Obama called for liberal activists to stay in the battle  with him as he tries to tear down the center-right core of American politics  forged by Ronald Reagan and affirmed by Bill Clinton.

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