Happy President's Day! The Times tells us that our current President is struggling to straddle the issues in Wisconsin. Our Organizer-in-Chief has always been a big union guy (that has been Dem orthodoxy forever) but lately he has adopted the pose of Fiscal Hero, so naturally he is torn.
This bit where the White House explains that Obama didn't say what he said is pretty funny:
At issue in Madison is less Mr. Walker’s proposed reduction in public employees’ pay and benefits and more his proposal to limit their collective bargaining rights. But people familiar with the protests say the national Democratic Party got engaged days after the demonstrations began and mostly after union officials, liberals and Wisconsin Democrats complained that the Obama organization was missing in action.
Mr. Obama has had strained relations with unions in general, and many do not believe he fights hard enough for their issues; public employee unions have been especially critical lately, since he proposed a two-year freeze of federal employees’ pay.
The Milwaukee television interview that was Mr. Obama’s first involvement in the Madison budget war was sought by the White House not to interject the president into the state’s fight but to promote his separate message concerning his own national budget-cutting drama: the station broadcasts into the district of the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Paul D. Ryan.
In the interview, the president sought to thread the needle between supporting the need for public employees to sacrifice while defending their bargaining rights: “Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions.”
Roll the video.