At his inauguration, President Barack Obama was seemingly poised to become America's strongest and most influential president since Ronald Reagan. However, President Obama's first two years in office has led to some notable surprises. What accounts for the political stability and change demonstrated by the Obama administration? Which factors shaping a presidency are structural, which are personal, and which are driven by events? How will decisions made in the first two years of the administration affect its future course? What lessons can we glean from past presidencies? This timely volume of notable thinkers on the presidency presents scholarly as well as applied insights on Obama's administration at the half-way point. Assessing the political context of his first two years, the inter-branch relations, and policy developments all provide the necessary grounding for students to make sense of the continuity and change that Barack Obama represents.