Obama Attempting Political Balancing Act

By: AP
By: AP

President Obama speaks to a crowd at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kansas December 6, 2011.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has broken with liberal
activists on recent issues such as air pollution and contraception,
and that's alienated those supporters as he's moved more to the
political center.

Yet on other policy matters, Obama has found opportunities to
strengthen his standing with his most committed backers. For
example, he's delayed a decision on an oil pipeline that would run
down through the U.S. from Canada and he's tried to boost gay
rights overseas.

The maneuvering comes as Obama prepares to run for re-election
in 2012 in a tough economic environment that has emboldened
Republicans. He's looking to maintain support from crucial
independent voters.

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