During his prevacation press conference at the White House, President Obama appeared upbeat about his prospects in 2014 and his latest hire, former President Clinton's White House chief of staff John Podesta.

"I think the fact that John Podesta is coming in will be terrific," Obama said to White House reporters. "He may deny it, but I've been trying to get him in here for quite some time."

Podesta, founder of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, ran Obama's transition team when he was first elected, but quietly moved into the background of developing liberal policy for the president's agenda.

With Podesta in the White House, look for a more combative and aggressively liberal Obama in 2014.

"John is a great strategist, as good as anybody on domestic policy," Obama said. "And I think he'll be a huge boost to us and give us more bandwidth to deal with more issues."