Obama appears to be looking out for his re-election, rather than standing by the unions as he promised. Might be too little too late for this president as this economy is still very unstable and unemployment is still at record highs in some states.

President Barack Obama, after initially lending his support to organized labor, has stepped back from the fights spreading in state capitals from Wisconsin to Tennessee, leaving union officials divided about his tactics.

Democratic officials said that with Obama heading into battles over the federal budget, a plunge into the fray over public-sector collective bargaining could weaken his position as a deal-maker in Washington.

Obama is eager to occupy the political center, Democratic officials said, to help him forge a bipartisan deal on the nation's long-term finances that could strengthen his position heading into the 2012 election. Obama has already tacked to the center on taxes, on trade and by working to forge stronger ties with business leaders.