Lefty Lobbyists Ready for Battle
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2009 4:09 PM CST
Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and John Podesta, co-chairman of the Obama Biden Transition Project and founder of the Center for American Progress.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Toughened by years in the political wilderness, liberal lobbyists are organized and ready to support President Obama on issues ranging from health care to taxing the rich, the New York Times reports. “This is no longer going to be Barack Obama standing by himself getting pilloried by the special interests with no one pushing back—if I can describe what it felt like in the White House in 1993,” said John D. Podesta, whose Center for American Progress is on the front lines.

Liberal champion Ralph G. Neas is leading the way on health care reform, coordinating TV ads and "blogger outreach." Opponents are mounting a defense, but even big business supporters of the GOP are leaning toward more government involvement in health care. “There’s a different atmosphere—there’s widespread recognition that this needs to get done,” said an insurance industry spokesman.