David Jackson, USA TODAY
President Obama is starting to watch the calendar a little bit.
"I want to get some stuff done -- I don't have a lot of time," Obama told donors Monday night in New York City. "I've got three and a half years left -- and it goes by like that."
At all three fundraisers he headlined Monday in the Big Apple, Obama mentioned that he has only three-and-a-half years -- actually three years and eight months -- remaining in his second term.
Still, the president outlined an ambitious agenda: A debt reduction deal that includes higher taxes on the wealthy, a major immigration bill, gun control, education, energy, and infrastructure improvements.
Obama also cited what he called the "hyper-partisanship" of congressional Republicans who have blocked many of those initiatives.
For that challenge, Obama offered another pledge: Persistence.
"I am persistent," he said at one point, "and I am staying at it."
While the central fact about a president's second term is "I don't have to run for office again," Obama also said it makes you think about history and the long term.
"You start saying to yourself that the three-and-a-half years that I've got is not a lot," he said, "and so I've got to make sure that I use everything I've got to make as much of a difference as I can."