No one can realistically expect to defeat Obama in the Democratic primaries. That does not mean that no one will try. Recent history shows that challengers to incumbent presidents can wound a president and make it easier for the other party’s nominee to win in November.
Obama may not have the adoring crowds in 2012 but he will have the considerable powers of the presidency, the support of many in the media and an experienced campaign team. He will be formidable, especially if he continues to triangulate. His best strategy: Be the reasonable adult in the middle, with Congressional Republicans and Democrats squabbling all around.
Obama’s natural tendency is to be cool and aloof from the “sausage-making” of the legislative process. That could serve him well with the public if partisans at the fringes continue to harangue.