President Obama is opening up about what he might do with a second term in the White House. It’s a bleak prospect.

Until now, the president has had to take a divisive approach in making his pitch for re-election. A positive case is hard to make when the public in general is not better off now than it was four years ago. So the Obama campaign’s main tactic has been to instigate fake political fights to drum up support with key demographic groups in his base. He’s done his best to court young people, women and homosexuals. That’s not enough. He needs to secure voters in the middle if he wants to win in November.

At a campaign event in Iowa on Thursday, Mr. Obama revealed a subtle shift toward convincing ordinary Americans that it would be too dangerous to allow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to move the country back from the extreme left.

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