Influencing Obama - It's Possible!
Just ask Steny Hoyer and his Blue Dogs.
"Conservatives in the congressional Blue Dog Coalition were among the first Democrats to applaud his calls for fiscal discipline.
Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper (D), an outspoken budget hawk, congratulated Obama for “making good on his campaign promise to change the way Washington does business by reforming the budget process and cutting wasteful spending.
“He has my full support in this effort,” Cooper continued.
“Streamlining the federal budget and eliminating wasteful spending,” said South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, “will jump-start efforts to restore fiscal responsibility and accountability to the federal government.”
Their adulation isn’t an accident. Both as candidate and president-elect, Obama and his advisers have reached out to fiscally conservative Democrats such as Cooper.
A group of Blue Dog leaders met last week with Obama economic adviser Jason Furman in the office of House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.).
Their discussion was very general, according to one participant, focusing on the broader aspects of budget reform rather than specific proposals.
But the members present expressed a willingness to sacrifice their balanced-budget demands in the short term for some assurances over the long haul that Obama will tackle federal spending.
The group is scheduled to hold another session with Furman early next month to discuss more specific proposals."
So now that the Blue Dogs are finding out what they get, what do we get?