Obama still supports EFCA

OBAMA STILL SUPPORTS EFCA…. Rahm Emanuel recently spoke at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council conference, and explained that Barack Obama would pursue an ambitious agenda, and planned to “throw long and deep.” A member of the business audience asked about Obama’s support for the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to form unions through a “card check” process. Emanuel responded, “Let me take your question and go somewhere else.”

The obviously evasive response drew chuckles, but generated some doubts. Was Emanuel signaling wavering support for EFCA, or was he simply trying to emphasize areas of agreement between Obama and the business crowd, trying to lighten the mood on a contentious issue?

This helps bring some clarity.

An aide to Barack Obama reaffirmed the President-elect’s support for the labor movement’s chief legislative priority in a one-word statement issued to the Huffington Post on late Tuesday.

Asked if Obama’s support for the Employee Free Choice Act remained as strong as his public proclamations suggested on the campaign trail, transition spokesman Dan Pfeiffer responded, succinctly, “Yes.”

The reaffirmation may not seem like a political breakthrough on its surface. But in the current political climate, in which the Obama team has steadfastly refused to comment on various legislative priorities, it does signal that the President-elect is not shying away from progressive pledges made during his campaign.

It sounds encouraging to me.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.