Political capital is limited.
If it is squandered early on one or two big ticket items (like multi trillion dollar stimulus and bailout packages that don't work as promised), it's gone.
In this case, the defeat was at the hands of his fellow Democrats.
"The U.S. House defeated a proposed sweeping reform of the federal food safety system on Wednesday amid complaints it would bury small farmers in paperwork with no assurance of an increase in inspections. . . . The bill would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to order food recalls, step up the frequency of plant inspections, require facilities to have a food safety plan in place and give FDA more access to company records."