WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama promised to change Washington's ways. Yet he's as caught up in them as ever.
As the week began, Obama kicked off his re-election bid with a sunny video of people talking about their hopes and needs, the very image of life outside Washington politics.
By week's end, Obama was mired in budget negotiations, canceling trips and scrambling to stave off a government shutdown that could only undermine the public's faith in his leadership.
It was the messy business of governing, and how it's going to be in this long campaign for incumbent Obama.
Beyond the vision for economic competitiveness he wants to talk about, Obama is chasing a second term while trying to make a deeply divided government work. He got bogged down in legislative tactics in his first two years, even when he won fights on health care and other issues.