Dem Groups Loyal to Obama Despite Snubs

Prez won't kiss up to activists, but pushes liberal agenda
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2009 5:51 PM CDT
Then-presidential candidate Barack Obamaand Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Billy George applaud during a meeting of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention, April 2, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – President Obama is publicly ignoring and even criticizing the liberal interest groups feverishly courted by past presidents. He has chastised the teachers’ union, skipped the State of the Black Union (again), and eschewed fanfare when restoring funding to groups that promote abortion. But activists remain loyal anyway, Politico reports, because they've awaited Obama's policy moves for decades.

“He’s not a president who does what some people would consider the minimum to keep various constituencies happy,” said an AFL-CIO lobbyist. “He doesn’t have to, because he’s doing very big things.” Labor, healthcare, and environmental groups have all had reasons to cheer, even if they’re not invited to bill signings. “We’re not into the symbolism,” said one pro-choice activist. “We’re into the policy change.”