AT THE TROUGH

Liberals Turn Up Lobbying

Out with the old, in with the new. As President Obama flexes his muscles on policy decisions with a Democratic Senate and House, left-leaning special interest groups are showing their own strength and gaining influence. While Obama used his weekly radio address to say he's ready to take on the special interests, he has many organizations on his side (including some backed by corporations including Wal-Mart and AT&T). "The efforts are in many ways the result of planning that took place in the years Democrats spent in the wilderness," the New York Times reports. "This is no longer going to be Barack Obama standing by himself getting pilloried by the special interests with no one pushing back — if I can describe what it felt like in the [Clinton] White House in 1993," transition director John Podesta said. "Now, people are prepared," said liberal advocate Ralph Neas.