One reason—one of many, it should be stressed—that the overfunded, overheated political rhetoric was so distressing all campaign season was that it seemed so crazily polarized given the similarities of the two presidential candidates. They are the most moderate, boring, viable candidates that their respective parties could field (but if we needed a dream team, maybe we could line up Pawlenty vs. Kerry or something).
So, just to reiterate a point that you should have heard (or told yourself) throughout all of that mess, the president is not actually a socialist. He's not even in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.
And Slate's William Saletan would have you believe—convincingly—that the president is what we'd until very recently think of as a moderate Republican, particularly when you look at his economic policy:
Once the economy began to revive, Obama offered a $4-trillion debt reduction framework that would have cut $3 to $6 of spending for every $1 in tax hikes. That’s a higher ratio of cuts to hikes than Republican voters, in a Gallup poll, said they preferred. It’s way more conservative than the ratio George H. W. Bush accepted in 1990. In last year’s debt-ceiling talks, Obama offered cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in exchange for revenue that didn’t even come from higher tax rates. Now he’s proposing to lower corporate tax rates, and Republicans are whining that he hacked $716 billion out of Medicare. Some socialist.