One of the conventional criticisms of President Obama's first term was that he failed to live up to the “Hope” and “Change” rhetoric on which he campaigned in 2008. Many Obama supporters, even ones who concede this point, defended him by stressing the partisan gridlock and the key policies the president enacted despite the Republican obstructionism.
The rhetoric, naturally, was tamped down this time around. To Obama's supporters — and 83 percent of San Franciscans qualify as such — the political lesson had been learned: Winning the White House brings no mandate, no automatic paradigm shift on the important issues, no surrender from the opposition. At least not these days.