How Obama Manages the Liberals

Christopher Hayes reports on the Common Purpose Project: "From day one the (Barack Obama) administration has pursued a strategy of keeping its progressive allies on the White House playbook. In a weekly Tuesday night meeting called Common Purpose, representatives from dozens of well-established progressive groups--environmental organizations, labor unions, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign and others -- gather at the Capital Hilton to meet with White House reps. According to about a half-dozen people who attend, the meeting is generally run by deputy chief of staff Jim Messina and attended by political director Patrick Gaspard, as well as staff from Organizing for America. Often the White House will bring in policy experts to give briefings on legislation such as healthcare or financial reform. Once in a while David Axelrod or Rahm Emanuel shows up. ... If access is the carrot the White House dangles in front of progressive groups, frozen out of the meetings or, worse, having funding squeezed, is the stick. 'There's no question that the big donors are funding the groups that are helping to pass the president's program,' said one attendee. 'And they're not particularly interested in funding groups that are challenging the president's program.' "