President Obama spoke to the Chamber of Commerce Monday, reaching out to a group with which he has struggled to find common ground over his first two years in office.
The move is a classic political play for the ideological middle. President Obama and his political team know that he must win back independent voters to claim a second term next November and playing nice with adversaries is the sort of bipartisan comity that appeals to those centrists.
Of course, Obama’s speech to the Chamber brought a swift rebuke from his liberal allies. “Two weeks ago the President promised that he would work to rebuild people’s faith in government – meeting with the biggest lobbyists in the country is hardly a step in the right direction,” said Erica Payne, the founder of a liberal coalition known as the Agenda Project.