Politico is reporting on a trend others have been commenting on for some time: Democratic candidates are treating Barack Obama as if he has a communicable disease.
“In trips to Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — all states that he carried in 2008 — members of Congress were notably missing from the president’s side,” according to the story. “Though none came out and said they were deliberately avoiding him, they didn’t have to: Dodging a presidential candidate who’s riding low in the polls is a time-honored political practice.”
According to the story, the September 13 House special elections in New York and Nevada and the October 4 West Virginia gubernatorial special election — haven’t done much to inspire confidence about Obama’s ability to help the entire ticket. “The president was unquestionably an anchor on the Democratic nominees in each race,” Politico reports.
In North Carolina, only Senator Kay Hagan, who isn’t up for reelection until 2014, and veteran Representative Mel Watt, who represents a majority black district, appeared with the president. North Carolina’s six other Democratic House members took a pass, offering a variety of excuses.
“[Obama] may end up being the Walter Mondale of 1984,” said Raleigh-based Democratic strategist Brad Crone, recalling that the only elected official who risked being seen with the party’s nominee that year was the longtime agriculture commissioner.
When Democratic strategists are comparing the incumbent Democratic president’s appeal to Walter Mondale — co-owner with George McGovern of the worst landslide presidential defeat in American history — you know things are going rather badly. And as Ed Morrissey points out, for candidates in Pennsylvania and Michigan to run and hide from Obama is fairly remarkable, given that the last time those states voted Republican was almost a quarter-century ago (1988).
For Republican candidates from coast to coast, hope and change are on the way.