Gergen: Obama is smarter and tougher, but is he wiser?

Gergen: Obama is smarter and tougher, but is he wiser?

On the eve of his second inaugural, President Obama appears smarter, tougher and bolder than ever before. But whether he is also wiser remains a key question for his new term.

It is clear that he is consciously changing his leadership style heading into the next four years. Weeks before the November elections, his top advisers were signaling that he intended to be a different kind of president in his second term.

“Just watch,” they said to me, in effect, “he will win re-election decisively and then he will throw down the gauntlet to the Republicans, insisting they raise taxes on the wealthy. Right on the edge of the fiscal cliff, he thinks Republicans will cave.”