Barack Obama has sometimes "disappointed," but he has not "failed." And only those who confuse politics and magic, regretting that he did not transform his country and the world in the wink of an eye, can speak of "failure."
Between October 2009 and April 2010, coal industry representatives held at least 33 meetings with White House staff on the coal ash issue, almost three times as many meetings as environmentalists and university scientists were granted on the subject.
President Bartlett was a smart, savvy man (like Barack Obama) but he depended on his chief-of-staff, Leo McGarry, to steer him right. Although many of Obama's staff put the President first, I don't see any evidence that Rahm Emanuel did.
Rather than giving partisan responses to partisan rebukes, Democrats should shift the ideological rubric altogether. One can only wonder at a political environment where deregulation could be labeled as "anarchy".