Weisman continues: "He was asked his views on the push by labor unions to allow workplaces to be organized with the signing of cards attesting to union support rather than a secret ballot. Mr. Emanuel declined to say whether the White House would support the legislation, but he said the unions are addressing the concerns of a middle class that has seen U.S. median income slide over the past eight years, while health care, energy and education costs have soared."
Elsewhere in appointment-land: "Congressional Budget Office chief Peter Orszag is the front-runner to be President-elect Barack Obama's budget director, Capitol Hill Democrats say," the AP's Andrew Taylor reports.
And: "A source familiar with transition planning said [Max] Cleland, a Vietnam veteran and triple amputee, is under consideration for either secretary of Veterans Affairs or secretary of the Army in an Obama administration, and liberal grass-roots support is building for his selection," Christina Bellantoni writes in the Washington Times.
It's official in Alaska, and it happened on the man's 85th birthday: "Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens lost his job to Mark Begich on Tuesday, putting an end to the era of 'Uncle Ted' as the dominant force in Alaska politics," Sean Cockerham writes in the Anchorage Daily News. "Begich, the Democratic mayor of Anchorage, widened his lead to 3,724 votes in Tuesday's count of absentee and questioned ballots. The lead is insurmountable, as the only votes left to count are approximately 2,500 ballots from overseas."
Even the Incredible Hulk won't help now: "The Alaska victory means that Democrats will begin the next Congress with at least 58 members who caucus, just two votes shy of a filibuster-proof majority. They could still reach that important margin with the results of one race in Minnesota still not clear and a runoff election in Georgia," per ABC News.
Is there any plausible explanation for why Joe Biden is still a United States senator, when Barack Obama found it appropriate to resign? An explanation, that is, that isn't tied up with nepotism and political maneuvering and other things the Obama ticket was supposed to be about putting an end to?
"ABC News has learned that Delaware's newly elected Democratic governor is planning to take the oath of office at 12:01 a.m. ET on Jan. 20, 2009, making it possible for him to name Vice President-elect Joe Biden's replacement to the United States Senate," per ABC's Teddy Davis and Arnab Datta. "Whether Governor-elect Jack Markell (D) gets to name Biden's Senate replacement will ultimately turn on whether the Vice President-elect makes good on his stated intention to wait until the moment he becomes Vice President to resign from the U.S. Senate."
Beau Biden won't take a temporary appointment (but that doesn't mean he wouldn't be happy with a seat-warmer who would mean a clear field in 2010): "I will be fulfilling my military orders," Biden said in an e-mail note sent late Monday, as he prepared to deploy overseas, per the Wilmington News Journal's Jeff Montgomery and Nicole Gaudiano. "I have not sought and will not accept an appointment to the United States Senate; and look forward to returning to my work as attorney general of the state of Delaware."