From the parts I have read from this long NYT magazine article, they make some good points about what role Obama should play in helping to continue to build the Democratic party. The article talks about the tug and pull between Obama and the message the White House is putting out and what Democratic members of congress want to see Obama message focus on.
As a history major I found this quote from the article quite interesting, How long lasting effects of election outcomes can have in political parties, or in the case of the 1994 election quite the shock to the party:
“It is difficult to overstate the role that 1994 plays in the tormented psyche of the Democratic Party. For those who went through them, those midterms were less a bunch of elections than a single, sudden event that they never saw coming until it was on them, like something out of “War of the Worlds.” Most of the Democrats who woke up firmly in control of American government on Nov. 8, 1994, had no memory of a time when they didn’t make all the laws, and they couldn’t really conceive of it; by nightfall, 40 years of near-total Democratic dominance in both houses of Congress had been washed away.”