President Barack Obama © KeystoneUSA-ZUMA, Rex Features

Two years, more than 30 debates, a record $6 billion spent, and what do we have to show for it? The political balance in Washington, D.C., has barely budged. Latin may be a dead language, but the term "status quo" has never been more appropriate.

For President Barack Obama, four more years in the White House will be an opportunity to cement his place in history and to show whether he can move the country "forward." Job No. 1 in that regard is to increase employment and strengthen the economy.

Obama's legacy may ultimately be based on his health care law -- or perhaps his Wall Street reform or his stimulus bill. It may yet be built on a grand bargain that tackles Social Security and Medicare costs, or tax reform, or a new immigration law that gets pushed through in the next four years. Or it may yet be determined by his response to some unforeseen crisis -- a 3 a.m. phone call about another act of terror or global threat.

But much as former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are remembered in large part for the economic expansions that took place while they were in office, Obama's presidency is likely to be measured by the extent to which today's sluggish recovery gains momentum in the coming months and years, or whether it peters out and leaves businesses and families in no better shape to deal with the financial challenges ahead.

One thing did change Tuesday night: Obama will no longer be able to blame George W. Bush for the state of the economy. Voters may have agreed with the president about the depth of the hole we were in and who put us there, but having won another term, it is Obama's economy now. Following is a look at where it stands.

GDP vs. the Great Recession

© St. Louis Federal Reserve

The U.S. has enjoyed a decades-long stretch of economic prosperity. The Great Recession was the most severe break in that stretch. While the economy has been growing since the second half of 2009, that growth has been bumpy -- and modest at best.

Interest rates

Interest rates © St. Louis Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve has pushed interest rates to historically low levels in an attempt to speed the recovery.

Potential inflation

Potential inflation © St. Louis Federal Reserve

Although the low interest rates have fueled fears among some that inflation will become a problem, core inflation (blue) has been tame even as food and gas prices have been somewhat volatile.

Housing prices

Housing prices © St. Louis Federal Reserve

Low interest rates have helped stabilize the housing market after a long and painful bust. Housing remains far from robust, but there are signs of improvement in an area of the economy that had been a huge drag on growth.

Stock market

Stock market © St. Louis Federal Reserve

The stock market has surged during Obama's time in office, regaining much of what it lost during the economic crisis.

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