mmigration and climate changes priorities for Obama’s second term

In the interview that accompanied his selection as Man of the Year by TIME magazine, US President Barack Obama says that he intends to spend his second term focused on the issues of immigration, energy, climate change and the need to revive his nation’s economy.

The wide-ranging interview included the freshly reelected President reflecting on the lessons learned in the campaign and looking to the future. With his first term having been dominated by the largely acrimonious push for financial reform and an overhaul of the country’s troubled health care system, Obama says he is now ready to move into some new areas of policy.

“My primary focus is going to continue to be on the economy, on immigration, on climate change and energy,” Obama says. Both climate change and immigration are big issues on which progressives believe the president fell short on during his first term in the White House. A bill intended to cut down on greenhouse gases in 2009 was able to make it out of the House of Representatives but floundered in the Senate, and despite Obama’s campaign promise four years ago back in 2008 to go after comprehensive US immigration reform, Congress was unwilling to tackle the issue.

Now, however, immigration is very much back in the limelight after the election that saw Obama winning over Latino voters by quite some margin, signaling a shift in demographics that is having a profound effect on the entire political landscape of the US.