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In this issue

Barack Obama has a hostile environment to negotiate as he tries to secure a legacy beyond the financial crisis

A master campaigner faces his hardest test

Barack Obama has a hostile environment to negotiate as he tries to secure a legacy beyond the financial crisis

Republican party: Signs of pragmatism bow to a grand old ideology

Evidence of a shift in tone seems flimsy, writes Stephanie Kirchgaessner

Foreign mission: World stage offers hope of a compelling performance

There is a shift in emphasis from domestic troubles to an overseas agenda

Stakes are ever higher as a bruising budget battle looms

Prospects for a deal with Congress again appear uncertain, writes James Politi

Energy: Oil and gas revival powers policy emphasis

Pipeline permits, exports and regulation will top the agenda as alternative sources take a back seat, writes Anna Fifield

Immigration: Hopes are high for transforming big promises into brave actions

Room to manoeuvre in the middle gives reformers grounds for optimism, writes Anna Fifield

Foreign policy: Middle East distracts from long-term aims

The US desire to focus on strategy in Asia could be tested, writes Geoff Dyer

Healthcare: Consumers and industry brace for change as Obamacare rolls out

Law improves access to medical aid but, Alan Rappeport asks, will it cut costs?

Environment: Conversation on climate change issue is yet to begin

In spite of a sense of relief among campaigners, it is still unclear what action will be taken, writes Pilita Clark

Tourism: Officials work to win back travel bucks

Efforts are under way to improve the experience of visitors to the US, says Aaron Stanley

Economy: Twin aims of job creation and growth remain elusive targets

The stabilisation of household debt is a chink of light for the president, reports Robin Harding