Now that he never has to face the voters again, President Obama has "more flexibility" not just with the Russians, as he famously put it to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, but to pursue a far-left domestic agenda as well. That became perfectly clear on Monday when he delivered a stridently left-wing inaugural address that he never would have uttered were there another election in his future.
Don't take our word for it. Here are what left-of-center commentators said after Obama spoke.
David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, wrote: "Obama's speech was infinitely better, more self-assured, more politically precise than his first. This was Barack Obama without apology - a liberal emboldened by political victory and a desire to enter the history books with a progressive agenda."
The Washington Post editorialized, "President Obama inaugurated his second term Monday with something approaching a liberal manifesto: a clear statement of what he hopes to accomplish over the next four years."
Liberal columnist Michael Kinsley wrote that the debate over whether Obama is a liberal or moderate is over; he is clearly a liberal whose "vision of a properly run society is closer to the European model..."
None of this should be a surprise. Conservatives have pointed out for years that Obama was an activist liberal pretending to be a moderate. Monday's speech proves that. Now prepare for an aggressive four-year effort to remake America in Europe's image.