With less than four months left in his term, President Obama and his aides are scrambling to get things done. Many are sceptical about what he’ll be able to achieve.
Wearing a crisp shirt and colourful, striped socks, DJ Patil, the White House’s chief data scientist, strode through a building near the White House. He seemed in good spirits, but he had dark shadows under his eyes.
Like many of his colleagues in the Obama administration, Mr Patil is both optimistic and exhausted by their effort to reach goals before the president leaves office in January.
They’ve embraced a “fourth quarter spirit”, said Mr Patil, using a basketball metaphor that describes the last – and most exciting – part of the game.
Mr Obama likes to shoot hoops, and he adopted the metaphor himself for the final phase of his presidency.