I missed this from Matt Bai of the New York Times two days ago:
Privately, Mr. Obama has described himself, at times, as essentially a Blue Dog Democrat, referring to the shrinking caucus of fiscally conservative members of the party.
Oh really? Hard to reconcile with this (emphasis mine):
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I mean, the problem with labels is everybody thinks they mean different things. So I would define myself as a strong progressive in the sense that…[some qualifiers follow].
In other words, Obama is comfortable saying just about anything in private. The question is about what he’ll do, and Bai suggests that when it comes to the debt and the deficit commission’s recommendations, there’s no telling what Obama will do. There may be some uncertainty, but one thing for sure is that Obama’s decision-making on the debt won’t be shaped by a “sense of betrayal on the left…so intense that he could conceivably draw a primary challenge over it in 2012.” If Obama’s already committed to triangulation in order to defeat a Republican in 2012, there’s no way he’s going to worry about the threat of a harmless primary from the left.