The dirty secret is that Obama simply isn’t very liberal, nor is the Democratic Party any more. Certainly, the center of the party today is far to the right of where it was before 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected with a mission to move the party toward the right. It was widely believed by Democratic insiders that the nation had moved to the right during the Reagan era and that the Democratic Party had to do so as well or risk permanent loss of the White House.
It is only the blind hatred Republicans had for Clinton that prevented them from seeing that he governed as a moderate conservative – balancing the budget, cutting the capital gains tax, promoting free trade, and abolishing welfare, among other things. And it is only because the political spectrum has shifted to the right that Republicans cannot see to what extent Obama and his party are walking in Clinton’s footsteps....I think that a lot of the Democratic Party’s rightward drift resulted from two factors. First is the continuing decline of organized labor from 24 percent of the labor force in 1973 to less than half that percentage in 2011. And the decline among private sector workers has been even more severe....
Secondly, the collapse of the Soviet Union essentially led to the collapse of support for socialism worldwide. I think voters bought the idea that the economist F.A. Hayek made during World War II that socialism impoverishes people and necessarily becomes totalitarian eventually. The disappearance of socialism as a viable political philosophy deprived liberals of their ideological anchor, causing liberalism itself to drift rightward with the tide.
There are other factors as well, such as the dependence of Democrats on campaign contributions from Wall Street, but I think these are the most important.The Fiscal Times
Bruce Bartlett — How Democrats Became Liberal Republicans
See also Jordan Fabian — Obama: More Moderate Republican Than Socialist | ABC News
President Barack Obama believes that if he were president 25 years ago, his economic policies would make him a moderate Republican.
During an interview with Noticias Univision 23, the network's Miami affiliate newscast, Obama pushed back against the accusation made in some corners of south Florida's Cuban-American and Venezuelan communities that he wants to instill a socialist economic system in the U.S. The president said he believes few actually believe that.
"I don't know that there are a lot of Cubans or Venezuelans, Americans who believe that," Obama said. "The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican." [emphasis added]