January 26th, 2010
12:06 PM ET

When liberals revolt

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/11/04/election.president/art.obama.speech.01.cnn.jpg caption="Julian Zelizer says that, since the Massachusetts vote, Obama has seemed to move toward the center."]

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

In the week since Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, President Obama has shown signs that he is preparing to move further to America's political center.

In many respects, Obama has reached a fork in the road and must decide whether he plans to veer to the center at the expense of his increasingly discontented liberal base.

We won't know the full outlines of the president's new approach until his State of the Union address on Wednesday. But there are strong indications: He will propose a three-year freeze on discretionary spending in most government agencies and, over the weekend, he endorsed the idea of creating a commission to make recommendations for reducing the budget deficit.

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