Obama's goal seems to be to appeal to a reasonable group that can talk to, rather than past, each other about abortion. If he's going to succeed, he has to confront those who perceive common ground as a threat.
The combined percentage of voters of who deem Obama's agenda "just about right" or "not liberal enough" is 58% -- roughly parallel to Obama's overall approval rating of 54%. That's the center-left governing majority.
What puts this first year in perspective for me is that: Obama may not be smarter than all of us, but he sure is smarter by a long shot than McCain would have been. And that, for now, is enough for me.
A politician with great persuasive power can use it in two ways. It can be used to cultivate the energy of the general interest, or it can be used to try and mollify the people while facilitating the elites' agenda.