In his inaugural State of the Union address, Obama encouraged Congress not to abandon his healthcare drive, but made it clear it was no longer the focus of his agenda. Mahendran took note of Obama's plan to broaden his reform program and said this was the direction he should be heading.
"He has to look at the broader issues of creating jobs, " said Mahendran. "He wants to bring change in a wide context and he probably admits that healthcare deviated from that broader agenda. And now he is getting back on track."
Mahendran also said though a rebound in the U.S. economy is on the way, Obama is aware that it will come later that he would have prefer, and that is problematic.
In order for his government to gain a "decent majority" in the mid-term elections, Mahendran explains, the economy has to rebound by the middle of the year. If this doesn't happen, then spending on infrastructure projects will be ramped up to create jobs.
"He needs all the ammunition and the dry powder with him in terms of spending power in case that rebound does not happen."