When the White House came out and said “Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise,” following the unions’ quixotic campaign to support Bill Halter over the incumbent Blanche Lincoln in the Arkansas Senate primary, unions were upset.
And what happens when Democratic White House upsets interest groups who gave the party $400 million in the last election cycle? They make nice, no matter how right they were:
In response, Gaspard, the White House official with perhaps the deepest roots in labor, assured those present that he understood that unions should remain independent. He asked the labor officials not to let one comment foul up relations between labor and the White House.
Gaspard also assured those assembled that he understood that labor’s first responsibility is to their members.
So it looks like the White House does regret dumping on labor after all, and does understand that the judicious move here is to walk back the criticism and insults, if only in private.