Nearly halfway into final term, Obama draws Democratic heat

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AFT President Randi Weingarten addressed reporters last week

AFT President Randi Weingarten addressed reporters last week after slamming White House education policies. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

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Spin Cycle

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President Barack Obama's incumbency is showing clear signs of wear and tear as constituent groups within his own Democratic Party grow bolder in criticizing various White House policies.

On Friday, New Yorker Randi Weingarten, the American Federation of Teachers president and Democratic National Committee member, stood before her organization's convention in Los Angeles and said, "We are deeply disappointed" that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has dismissed concerns from teachers and parents who challenge test-oriented policies.

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Then there's immigration. Some elected Democrats are voicing qualms about legal changes Obama seeks to help ease the deportation of thousands of children from Central America crossing this country's southern border.

And last month, the administration's push to slash carbon emissions through environmental regulation led to a rebuff from Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, running for the Senate, who along with miners' unionists defended coal as a source of energy and employment.

With 2 1/2 years left, Obama is one year shy of the point where, in 2007, Republican President George W. Bush met an outright rebellion from within his party that killed his efforts to overhaul immigration policy and create a temporary-worker program backed by business groups.

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