Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican nominee John McCain called himself a political maverick with "the record and the scars" to prove it, in contrast to a rival he portrayed as a spineless party man who never challenged Democratic leaders or interest groups. At this point, as President Obama launches a new era of offshore oil and gas drilling, the two men have largely reversed roles."Power Struggle: Inside The Battle For The Soul Of The Democratic Party" (Ryan Grim and Arthur Delaney):
That is a risk Obama feels comfortable taking, on energy and other issues. His bet is that Democrats will be energized in November by success -- even if some of their hopes and expectations are dashed along the way by a president with a maverick streak.
Raúl Grijalva is sitting quietly with a few of his staffers at one end of the bar, a bottle of Bud and a shot of whiskey in front of him, while his fellow Democratic members of the House of Representatives roar in celebration at the other end. It's 1 a.m. Less than two hours earlier, after a 14-month battle, Congress approved comprehensive health care reform.He'll have company. Organized labor, MoveOn.org and progressive members of Congress are increasingly breaking from the orbit of the White House and the Democratic establishment, beginning to take on the administration, build an independent infrastructure and back progressive primary challengers. Unions are working to groom progressive candidates in small, local races and, inside Congress, the progressive caucus -- after years of being treated like the stepchild of the House -- has the potential leadership and organizing vision in place to be ready the next time the nation clamors for a step forward and, in the meantime, to finish what was started on March 21, 2010.