January 20th, 2010
04:38 PM ET

1 year in: Will fortune smile on Obama?

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Aaron Miller
Special to CNN

Tuesday's Democratic meltdown in Massachusetts not only wreaks havoc with the president's health care legislation; it jeopardizes the legacy of a leader who barely two months ago was summoning up links to the ghosts of great presidents past.

As the calendar marks the first year of the Obama presidency, it's not too early to be thinking about his legacy. I guarantee you the president is.

Who do you suppose shapes President Obama's view of his presidency and what he hopes to accomplish? We have some clues. In his speech on Afghanistan last November, one of the most consequential in his young presidency, Obama conjured up the spirits of three of his predecessors.

The first reference to Eisenhower seemed to be a throwaway; after all, the president was speaking in the Eisenhower Hall Theater at West Point.

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