Obama Pressed on Cabinet, Policy

"We're at a time in history now where we can actually do something that is broad and comprehensive. I don't think this is the time for something incremental," she said.

Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, said she's counting on Obama to reverse a series of steps taken by the Bush administration that sought to advance its anti-abortion agenda.

Then, she said, the Obama administration can go further -- tackling issues such as birth-control pricing and insurance availability, and age-appropriate sexual education programs.

"We need to reverse some of the Bush administration's policies before we move on to more pro-active agendas," Keenan said.

Regarding policy, Cigler said Obama's challenges will come when two influential interest groups have goals that aren't precisely aligned. For instance, he said, some unions may resist environmental measures that could harm job creation.

One big policy question for Obama will be whether he supports so-called "card check" legislation, a top priority of labor unions that is vehemently opposed by business groups. The measure would make it far easier for work forces to unionize through a method that employers say would strip workers of the right to secret ballots.

Cigler said the economy may be the main vehicle Obama uses to temper the desires of some of the interest groups that backed his candidacy.

"The economic situation is so overwhelming that he can put a lot of this stuff off," he said. "It's not a situation where you can demand. You can request."

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