Barack Obama did win in 2008 running on a platform more liberal than the one he has pursued in the interim. Perhaps he couldn’t move any farther left on immigration or health care and stay viable. But on national security, executive power, and civil-liberties issues, he campaigned and won handily repudiating Bush-era policies, only to govern to the “right” of the Bush Administration.
There wasn’t a political imperative to do so. And I’m tired of that truth being obscured.