President Obama has taken up a grand tradition in American politics of not asking for real sacrifice. The American people need to make big changes over the next few years concerning our energy habits. We will have to switch to using different types of vehicles, use different types of appliances, find different means of producing energy, pay much more for what we use, get entangled in more messes both foreign and domestic, and/or all of the above.
The Downside of a President running for re-election is the hesistancy of asking for difficult things.
Democrats are much better than Republicans especially in terms of taxes and spending, but we need more. If the President wasn't running again he might be more willing to offer solutions that include painful choices. These ultimately are necessary.