Lincoln Keeps Obama at Arm's Length

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln is keeping the White House at arm's length as she seeks another term. While Republicans are eager to tie her to President Barack Obama, she says she's willing to work with the administration but won't keep quiet when they part ways.

She says she's going to disagree with the president when she thinks it is important to Arkansans. Lincoln spearheads a group of moderate senators that includes fellow Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, and found ways to distance herself from parts of Obama's agenda.

She says she will oppose taxing employer-provided health benefits as a way to pay for health-care reform if it will hurt small businesses. The White House budget chief says the taxes should remain on the table.

She's also joined a group of Democratic senators opposing speedy action of Obama's proposal to combat global warming through a "cap and trade" system.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)