Obama "met here last night with dozens of union leaders in an effort to mobilize their support for the general election as lingering rifts from a hard-fought primary campaign as well as broader tensions among major unions threaten to undermine organized labor's efforts on his behalf," The Washington Post's Alec MacGillis reports.
Part of what must be overcome: "AFSCME's president, Gerald W. McEntee, criticized Obama until the end of the primaries, declaring in late May that Obama was a weak candidate who 'will literally walk almost lame into the Democratic National Convention' and who 'has a problem with the blue-collar worker and relating to that worker.' "
Get the full political schedule in The Note's "Sneak Peek."
A new push from VoteBoth.com: The grassroots campaign kicks it to another level on Thursday, with an e-mail set to go out to the more than 35,000 signers of the "dream ticket" petition, urging them to post video appeals to Obama's search team on behalf of Sen. Clinton. A VoteBoth-er tells ABC: "We've been making the case in terms on hard metrics . . . and this is going to be a more personal look at why there is so much support behind the idea of a 'dream ticket.' "
How many more McCain events can retired Gen. James Jones attend before he bumps himself off of Obama's list (and maybe onto McCain's)? No endorsement from Jones, but "yesterday, as the presumptive Democratic nominee held briefings in Washington with dozens of military and foreign policy advisers, General Jones was not there," the New York Sun's Russell Berman points out. "Instead, he was in Missouri, sitting on an energy security panel convened by Mr. Obama's Republican rival, Senator McCain, who praised him as 'a great friend and a great patriot.' "
The slow (for now) drift of Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., continues: "Joe Lieberman describes himself as so estranged from the party over the Iraq war and national security policy that he is committed to siding with Senate Democrats only 'for now' as he campaigns for Republican presidential candidate John McCain," per USA Today's Susan Page.
Said Lieberman: "For now, I've decided to stay and fight for the kind of security policy, foreign policy that I think the party stood for when I joined in the '60s," Lieberman says. Asked if he plans to be a Democrat "forever," he replied: "You know, forever is a long time."
(And Lieberman also tells USA Today that he was among those who encouraged Obama to run.)
Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., was in Washington Wednesday claiming to speak with "one voice across party lines and across chambers" in support of a $5.8 billion package of Katrina aid.
But unity has its limits: "This puts the first-term Republican governor and former congressman at odds with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who labeled the Senate version of the $5.8 billion funding request 'bloated' and criticized it for being attached to measures to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan," per ABC's Z. Byron Wolf, Kate McCarthy, Teddy Davis, and Gregory Wallace.
With McCain headed to Minnesota Thursday night, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been a bit busier parlaying questions about his status: "I'm honored to have my name mentioned," he said Wednesday (starting to get this thing down pat), per Bob von Sternberg of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "The fact is, I haven't been asked, and I don't expect to be asked."