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Rapprochement?

Greg Sargent reports that top White House advisers are headed to the AFL-CIO headquarters today for a make-up meeting. Patrick Gaspard and Jen O'Malley represented the White House, though no one -- at least no one I know -- thinks they were the source of the offending comments. I do wonder how comforted labor can be by lower-level administration officials being forced to travel across town and beg forgiveness as higher-level administration officials continue to fume.

Update: Sam Stein notes that this was a regularly-scheduled meeting, not a special meeting to discuss the post-Arkansas chill. He also points out that personnel changes are likely to let the tense relationship between the White House and labor get even tenser:

Through it all there was one thing (or person) keeping the relationship at an amiable level. That was Andy Stern, a close ally of the president who, as head of the Service Employees International Union, had visited the White House more than any other union leader. When Stern retired last month, the connections between labor and the administration frayed, far more so that has been reported. There is, currently, serious debate as to whether anyone can replace the emissary role that he played.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 10, 2010; 1:46 PM ET
 
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Comments

Across town?

The AFL-CIO HQ is right across the street from the White House.

Posted by: tmp23 | June 10, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Plus Gaspard is the political director. That's a low level job?

Posted by: rwclayton7 | June 10, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

What rwclayton said. Just because someone ranks one or two notches higher than Gaspard doesn't mean we should minimize him as "lower level." Gaspard is the political director. He is guaranteed to have the president's ear. That's what you want in a meeting, especially if you believe that the guy is at least sympathetic to your point of view and will communicate it to the principals.

Posted by: fbacon2 | June 10, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Across town?

The AFL-CIO HQ is right across the street from the White House.

Posted by: tmp23

/////////////////////////////

FWIW, it's closer to Capitol Hill.

Personally, I think it would have been much more constructive if the White House Chief of Staff was in attendance. The AFL-CIO could give him some cement shoes as a parting gift.

The country and most certainly the Democratic party would be much better off for his absence.

Posted by: JPRS | June 10, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The anonymous WH comment chastising labor for financing Halter was clumsy and ill-advised, but let's remember that just a few weeks ago this same Obama administration did a recess appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB, which was a big victory for the labor movement.

The current ruffled feathers in this relationship will get straightened out in due course, and the portrayal of a major rift seems a tad overblown.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 10, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

JPRS - FWIW its just down the street from the white house... seriously, not hard to find.

Andy Stern as "emissary"? Half or more of the labor movement had a seriously low opinion of Andy by the time he retired and he was clearly the most polarizing personality in the labor movement. Gaspard comes from SEIU but I'm sure he's astute enough to have other connections that matter with the labor movement....

Posted by: alan24 | June 10, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

JPRS - FWIW its just down the street from the white house... seriously, not hard to find.

Andy Stern as "emissary"? Half or more of the labor movement had a seriously low opinion of Andy by the time he retired and he was clearly the most polarizing personality in the labor movement. Gaspard comes from SEIU but I'm sure he's astute enough to have other connections that matter with the labor movement....

Posted by: alan24 | June 10, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

regular meetings huh?

Exactly when is the man with the President's "ear" going to be having a SINGLE meeting with say NFIB or any other group that represents small businesses?


oh yeah, NEVER.

Posted by: visionbrkr | June 11, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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