The Democratic left still smarts over President Obama’s failure to deliver on some of its key issues, but has made no serious move to challenge him in 2012.
Even the loudest critics among them think putting up a primary candidate would just split the party and strengthen the Republican who runs against him or her.
“There is beginning to be some chatter about running a candidate from the left, but nobody wants to think that way,” said Peter Daou, a liberal blogger and ex-digital media adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The left’s grievance list is long. They believe Obama is infatuated with centrist, independent voters at the expense of the liberal agenda. Many want U.S. forces out of Afghanistan.
Still, there’s no groundswell for a Howard Dean-like Democrat to rise up and challenge Obama.
“I certainly wouldn’t advocate that. I’d rather the White House right this ship,” Daou said.
UCLA pollster Lynn Vavreck doubts the left will rebel because ultimately liberals “want to win elections,” while dissident GOP Tea Party activists “care more about making a point.”
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Liberals still fume over what they consider a lame attempt by Obama to win approval of a government health care plan known as the public option.
They complain Obama is dragging his feet on liberalizing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays, and that his financial reform package won’t do enough to rein in Wall Street.
“A lot of progressives want President Obama to succeed – but we want him to succeed at the big changes he promised in 2008,” said Adam Green, who founded the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.