Via the Standard, emphasis on “publicly.” Given the way O stresses that word, it’s hard to believe this wasn’t a deliberate (and admittedly funny) dig at Hagan for running away from him when he’s in her neighborhood. But why would he do that? He’s been through two election cycles already as president; as I recall, the only red-state House Democrat willing to share a stage with him in 2010 after ObamaCare passed was Tom Perriello. (Who went on to lose his reelection bid that year, as did lots and lots and lots of other Dems.) As such, there’s no reason to be grumpy about Hagan pulling the “Barack who?” routine at this point. Why hand the Americans for Prosperity ad team another soundbite to use against her just because she wouldn’t give them a photo op to use? Having the Senate in GOP hands next year won’t matter tremendously in terms of what does or doesn’t get passed, but it’ll matter a lot to him when there’s a new Supreme Court vacancy or when he’s looking for back-up from congressional Dems during the next round of budget/debt-ceiling brinksmanship.
Maybe he figures that, at this point, one more unhelpful soundbite can’t hurt. The Good Ship Hagan’s taken on so much water already from ObamaCare, what’s another cupful? Do you ever wonder, though, if this guy imagined even in his darkest moments in the Hopenchange-y summer of 2008 that he’d one day be so toxic to the other party that red-state Dems would duck him when he came to town? That’s par for the course for any president, but not every president is a would-be post-partisan messiah.