There are a few in the conservative camp who the Obama administration respects. “By respect, I mean, quite simply, the degree to which the White House responds to their worries and needs and believes that the time spent responding is useful and necessary,” Marc Ambinder writes in the Atlantic. Here’s a list of six:
- The Maine senators: "On major issues where a 60-vote supermajority is needed for cloture," Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are "the only Republicans who matter."
- Dick Lugar: "Obama regularly consults with the Indiana Republican on matters ranging from defense appropriations to Afghanistan to Russia policy and loose nukes."
- John McCain: "On Gitmo, torture, Afghanistan, and procurement reform, McCain's voice gets into Obama's head—and that's the way Obama wants it."
- David Brooks: Though critical of the administration, "Rahm Emanuel telephones the conservative New York Times columnist more than just about anyone else except for his wife."
- Jack Goldsmith: The Harvard Law professor is a favorite reference for Obama; "the president himself has been known to cite his admiration for the way in which Goldsmith engages the problems from all angles—political, legal, philosophical."