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democrats don't need obama, whose coattails are inoperative
DrMarty | May 25, 2012 at 01:54 amby
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Perhaps it was the May 8 West Virginia primary, where a federal prison inmate won 42% of the Democratic vote for President, or the May 22 Arkansas and Kentucky primaries, where, respectively, a virtually unknown candidate and "undecided" polled in the range of 40% against the President. But now, Democratic Party candidates for Congress -- a breed which usually thinks in terms of a "straight ticket" vote -- have begun edging toward the clubhouse door, away from the party's presumed presidential candidate, President Barack Obama.
NORTH DAKOTA. In the North Dakota election campaign to replace retiring U.S. Senator Kent Conrad, Democratic candidate Heidi Heitkamp, who supported Obama in 2008 and supported the health care "reform," and who is reportedly receiving support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has made some public criticism of the President over the past week.
An AP article published yesterday quotes her, that "I think he's failed in the one test America had for him, which was to unite the country," and that "I think he needed to be more hands-on. ... I don't think he's done enough to think broadly and come up with solutions that would engage both sides in a reasonable dialogue."
Otherwise, as in West Virginia, the Obama Administration's hostility to any energy-production industry that works, is important in North Dakota, which has a significant natural gas, oil, and coal industry. Heitkamp has also criticized the President over the Keystone XL oil pipeline and complained that he "hasn't done enough" to support the energy industry.
ARIZONA. More demurely, in Arizona, Ron Barber, an aide to retired Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), is campaigning for Giffords's vacated seat in the House of Representatives in a June special election. When asked in a Tuesday debate by his Republican opponent, for whom he intended to vote in the presidential election in November, Barber declined to answer, saying he was concentrating on winning his own election.
After Republicans played up this response this morning, the TPM blog reports, Barber issued a clarification that he supports Obama's re-election. In less than a ringing endorsement, Barber's campaign said, "Ron's point last night was that the election on June 12 isn't about president Obama, or any other national figure -- it's about who is going to do the best job fighting for middle class families in southern Arizona.
While Ron does not agree with the president on everything, of course Ron has supported and will support President Obama in the election. His primary focus as a member of Congress will be standing up for Southern Arizonans."
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