Las Vegas (CNN) - President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday thanked progressive activists for their help in pushing through some of the Democrats' policy initiatives, but acknowledged more work needs to be done.
In a videotaped message played at the Netroots Nation conference, President Obama said some progress has been made to help the American economy, but "change has not come fast enough for too many Americans. I know that. It hasn't come fast enough for me either. I know it hasn't come fast enough for many of you who fought so hard during the election."
But he asked some of those who were his most loyal supporters during the 2008 election to take a moment and consider his administration's accomplishments. To help do that, the video included snippets of news broadcasts which reported on such developments as the passing of the stimulus bill and the health care overhaul, a new arms treaty with Russia, a new hate crimes prevention act and reforms in the student loan system.
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - Some of the activists attending the Netroots Nation convention have some stern words for the White House and the national media over how they handled the Shirley Sherrod story.
"From the beginning, traditional media outlets that were running with this should have looked at the full video, to get the full context. I mean, it wasn't like it wasn't available. They ran with it because the right wing had one of their manufactured outrages and there was no critical thinking involved in handling that story. And of course the Obama administration trying to make nice with the right wing, overreacted, and shot from the hip, instead of once again, getting the facts," Markos Moulitsas, co-founder of the influential blog the Daily Kos, told CNN.
Many of the attendees here say the administration should not have reacted so quickly after conservative media businessman Andrew Breitbart posted an edited version of Sherrod's speech on Monday that did not fully represent the racial views of the Agriculture Department employee.
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - Organizers of the annual Netroots Nation convention, beginning Thursday, hope what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.
With the president's poll numbers hurting and chatter increases about the possibility of major defeats for Democrats in this year's mid-term elections, sponsors of the fifth conference hope the ideas and techniques that emerge from the participants will help propel the progressive agenda and spur action by the more than 2,200 progressive activists participating. It is billed as the largest gathering of the Democratic base in advance of the November election.
While the president still has an over 80 percent approval rating among Democrats, it has slipped a bit. As for the Democrats running this year, they are facing a large enthusiasm gap. Only 32 percent of Democrats said they were extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this year compared to 54 percent of Republicans, according to a May 21-23 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll.
Some 80 groups and organizations, many of them key constiuencies of the liberal wing of the Democratic party, are sponsoring NetRoots, including the AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME, MoveOn.Org as well as the Democratic National Committee's Organizing For America wing.