With Thanksgiving behind us, the nation's interest-groups are now front and center with their holiday wish lists and New Year's resolutions for the incoming Obama administration.
Unions want a new bill to make it easier to organize. Gays and lesbians want more protections against discrimination. Environmentalists want to "hit the reset button" on Bush-era regulations.
And a partridge in a pear tree.
"Every interest group, every group in the party, has a list," Democratic strategist Steve Elmendord told the LA Times, and you gotta bet someone will end up with a lump of (not-so-clean) coal.
Huffington Post reporter Thomas B. Edsall says that largely depends on who will win out from an internal Democratic Party debate now raging on whether America is a center-right or center-left country.
If Obama is perceived as governing too liberally, he could suffer set-backs that would exile Democratic interest groups to political Siberia. But if America is a center-left nation "the adoption of major public works programs, comprehensive health care, and aggressive tax and spending programs to reduce income and wealth inequality may help forge a durable majority for Obama and the Democratic Party."
He concludes both sides can reasonably make their case.
But as Obama's team of rivals charts its ideological course, it must also contend with its own worst enemy: his administration's team of giant egos.