In a Washington post piece this morning, journalists who accompanied Obama back home for his vacation reported that the President believes these times are "scary" but that they should alos make people feel "determined and excited". Saying that the direction taken now will determine "which direction the wave of change goes in" Obama expressed enthusiasm for his stimulus bill.
Obama is in the unique position of being a fourth turning president who is at the helm during the catalyst and transition, according to the historical saeculum theory of Howe and Strauss in their American epic work of 1997, The Fourth Turning: An American prophecy. Although bipartisan efforts have not gone smoothly thus far, it really doesn't matter : Opposition is par for the course, and the chaning of the guard is always resisted.
In my opinion, Obama is made for crisis and transition. He would do less well in times of economic prospertity and general peace. He himself had stated during the campaign season that turbulent times were the ones which inspired him.