Obama's Collapsing Base

Article excerpt

The president can't catch a break. Republicans loathe him, and now even old pals are bailing on the onetime Teflon commander in chief. Why are Obama's allies turning against him?

Hedge Funders

BACK in 2008, hedge-fund managers gave overwhelmingly to Democrats. Now the GOP has taken in 53 percent of the amount given in the 2010 cycle. One of Obama's most generous supporters, Daniel Loeb, the founder of Third Point who bundled $200,000 for Obama in 2008, gave $468,000 to Republicans last cycle. Financier Steven A. Cohen told New York Sen. Charles Schumer that he'd given up on the party, according to The Wall Street Journal, during a Democratic effort to raise the capital-gains tax rate.

Labor

During his campaign for the presidency, Obama professed to "love" labor. But there are plenty of signs that the romance has flagged. Obama was seen as largely a no-show during the dustup between the unions and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. At a recent meeting of labor leaders, union members tore into Obama for budget cuts and a new trade agreement. Labor pooh-bah Richard Trumka said, "President Obama does not yet have the balance right between spending cuts and new revenue." Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll showed voters trust governors and business leaders more than they do unions.

Environmentalists

When it comes to energy policy, it seems like Obama can do no right. When the president called for increased offshore drilling, climate-change activists were incensed. When he embraced nuclear power, environmentalists were up in arms. "The climate push was -- a total flop," The New Republic moaned. Lately environmentalists have found a new bone to pick with the administration, challenging Obama in court to allow groups like the Audubon Society to sue power plants to cut their emissions.

The Media

During the 2008 election, onetime media darling John McCain groused that he'd lost his base. …