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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Janison: Obama feeling heat from his own camp

President Barack Obama speaks on Monday, June 9,

President Barack Obama speaks on Monday, June 9, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Credit: MCT / Olivier Douliery

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.

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.


STILL OPPOSED: Last summer, then-New York City Comptroller John Liu and then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio verbally scrapped in numerous neighborhood forums during the primary race for mayor.

This summer, as de Blasio and family move into Gracie Mansion, internal Democratic politics once again puts the two former fellow City Council members in opposing camps.

In a deal to get breakaway state Senate Democrats to quit their power-sharing alliance with the Senate GOP, de Blasio endorsed Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) -- who faces a challenge from Liu, a Flushing resident, in the Sept. 9 primary. Avella has been a member of the Independent Democratic Conference headed by Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), whom de Blasio also endorsed.


SCHUMER'S TAKE: After Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had it publicly demonstrated that Congress wouldn't act in the Long Island Rail Road labor dispute, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer told NY1 News: "You didn't need to be a PhD in political science to know that the House of Representatives would never help New York out of a strike situation."

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