In any case, for those seeking a true measure of Obama’s judgment, on both policy and politics, the meeting between the president and Senate Democrats yesterday was much more instructive. Obama’s words made it clear that, notwithstanding his party’s recent election losses at the polls and its declining poll ratings, he has no intention of embarking on a Bill Clinton-style “triangulation” strategy.
The pivotal moment came when Sen. Blanche Lincoln of deep-red Arkansas, a centrist who’s on her way to defeat in November, practically begged the president to repudiate “extreme” liberals -- a clear reference to the Nancy Pelosi-led House -- and tack to the center. Arguing that the Democrats’ ambitious legislative agenda was sowing job-destroying “uncertainty” in the business community, she asked: “Are we willing as Democrats to push back on our own party?”
Obama’s reply, in a nutshell: Sorry, Blanche.
Like it or not, more people are towards the middle and not at either extreme end of the political spectrum. Not to mention it's hard to paint Obama as an extreme liberal, because on most issues he's not. Which makes this a labeling issue that could backfire.