WASHINGTON (AP) — Welcome to Barack Obama's split-screen presidency.
On one side: a confident Obama making campaign-style stops around the country and ridiculing opponents to the delight of cheering supporters. On the other side: an increasingly unpopular president hobbled by gridlock on Capitol Hill and vexing foreign policy crises.
Obama has long sought refuge outside of Washington when his frustrations with the nation's capital boil over. But his ability to rally public support in a way that results in progress for his agenda has perhaps never been weaker than it is as he nears the midpoint of his second term.
The White House puts the blame on Republicans it says are out of touch with the American people. But Republicans say Obama is more interested in politics than working on compromise solutions.