Obama to Senate Dems: I’ll stay away from your re-election campaigns

posted at 3:01 pm on February 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Three weeks ago, Barack Obama paid a visit to North Carolina for a speech — at which incumbent Democrat Senator Kay Hagan, who faces a tough re-election bid in November, was curiously absent. Obama name-checked her anyway, which was interpreted as a slap at Hagan for attempting to distance herself from her party’s leader. Last week, Hagan refused to answer when asked whether her ties to Obama would hurt her re-election bid.

Now, suddenly, even Obama seems to understand that he’s an anchor on incumbents in the next election. He’s offering to stay out of their states now, according to the Washington Post:

President Obama, struggling with low approval ratings after a dispiriting year of setbacks, conceded in private remarks Wednesday that some fellow Democrats might not want his help in this fall’s elections.

The candid self-appraisal came during a policy retreat with the Senate Democratic caucus at the Washington Nationals’ stadium, part of a flurry of outreach efforts with congressional Democrats this week focused on crafting strategies for the midterms.

“He said he knew he is not popular in some of the states so he would not be offended if he were not invited to visit them this year,” said one senator who requested anonymity to discuss the private meeting. “But he said he could be helpful in some parts of some states.”

That wasn’t the only issue on the minds of Capitol Hill Democrats. One wanted to know why no heads have rolled over the grossly incompetent handling of ObamaCare, which will be the biggest issue in 2014 races no matter how often Obama talks about “income inequality”:

During the event with House members in the East Room, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) told Obama that someone should be fired for the health-care law’s botched rollout in the fall, according to several people who attended the meeting. The moment was made more awkward because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was among the Cabinet members who mingled with the lawmakers.

“I asked what’s been on my mind for months,” Shea-Porter said in an interview Wednesday. “I don’t think there’s any shock anywhere around the country that somebody should be held accountable and that I would ask that question.”

Awkward is one word for it. It’s going to be a lot more awkward on the campaign trail when Democrats have to defend their votes for it.

The change in stance since mid-January probably has to do with the reception of his State of the Union speech, which didn’t exactly impress anyone, and the realization of the impact from the CBO report on the election. No one’s going to take the “job lock” explanation seriously, especially with so many instances of Democrats going on the record that ObamaCare would boost the economy, not shrink the workforce. Spinners can twirl that baton for months, but they’re not going to build a parade out of it.

Suddenly, a bunch of executive orders to demonstrate presidential power doesn’t look so good to Democrats, either.  Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) declared that it rubbed him the wrong way when Obama threatened unilateral action in the state of the union speech. Alaska’s Mark Begich said the same thing to Jake Tapper yesterday. Begich has a website that hails the Democratic Senator as someone who is “as independent as Alaska.” Get ready to see a lot of “independent” Democrats trying to keep their seats in November.


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Like HELL he will. Teh Won, god-king, messiah, corpse(man) at every funeral, (gay)bride at every wedding WILL NOT be ignored.

ConstantineXI on February 6, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Not sure if there is one Senate dem that wants obama campaigning with them.

ConservativePartyNow on February 6, 2014 at 3:07 PM

And they said Bush was toxic

Kini on February 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I still have this foreboding feeling that this is all happening way too early. American voters are such fickle individuals. They’ll all forget what’s going on right now, then blindly vote for the same a**holes that got us into this mess.

Someone comfort me please.

TexasJack on February 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

What?! But it worked out great when Obama showed up for Martha Coakley and Jon Corzine.

Doughboy on February 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Oh, crud. That will make 2014 elections more challenging.

freedomfirst on February 6, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Get ready to see a lot of “independent” Democrats trying to keep their seats in November.

And get ready to see a lot less “independence” next year if they actually do.

Chris of Rights on February 6, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Obama scoffs at you, muttering smutty remarks.

Offhanded on February 6, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Wow, the lamest of lame ducks…

oscarwilde on February 6, 2014 at 3:12 PM

I still have this foreboding feeling that this is all happening way too early. American voters are such fickle individuals. They’ll all forget what’s going on right now, then blindly vote for the same a**holes that got us into this mess.

Someone comfort me please.

TexasJack on February 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

The problem for the Democrats is ObamaCare is ongoing — it’s not as if people are having to pay five years worth of premiums now, so they’re outrageously outraged in February and have completely forgotten about it by October. If anything, those on employee health care plans are going to see their rates soar just about the time the Nov. 4 election rolls around (and Obama can stay out of the various Senators’ elections, but he can’t keep the name or the effects of ObamaCare out of their states).

jon1979 on February 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM

The man shows a remarkable lack of ego here (for a politician). He doesn’t even probably want to travel to blue dog territory, more time doing other things.

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

@ jon
indeed — people will get slapped by it in some cases right on 11/1 – the exact worst time …

@ lib

u appear to be ascribing him a work ethic — that’s adorable …
:-)

ABreitbart on February 6, 2014 at 3:23 PM

It’s obvious that Fox News is ginning up all this negative sentiment among all those Democrats…damn you O’Rielly!

Wyznowski on February 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM

******************* The Kiss of Political Death *********************!!

canopfor on February 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Obama a poison on undecided voters? I thought he was their savior or something. Or something.

Btw any bridge model collectors out there?

OregonPolitician on February 6, 2014 at 3:28 PM

By October when the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act kick in, democrats will be begging Barack to campaign with them. Especially Senators Hagan and Landrieu.

PajamaBoy the Destroyer on February 6, 2014 at 3:32 PM

The problem for the Democrats is ObamaCare is ongoing — it’s not as if people are having to pay five years worth of premiums now, so they’re outrageously outraged in February and have completely forgotten about it by October. If anything, those on employee health care plans are going to see their rates soar just about the time the Nov. 4 election rolls around (and Obama can stay out of the various Senators’ elections, but he can’t keep the name or the effects of ObamaCare out of their states).

jon1979 on February 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM

I don’t really believe that’ll come to fruition. Obama keeps changing the rules of the ACA. I still believe he’ll try to do something, anything to make voters believe he is on their side and forget everything that’s happened to date.

TexasJack on February 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Believe me Begich is independent only when need be.

oldbearak on February 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

It isn’t gonna save these dems that are vulnerable in 2014. They’re gonna get whipped. Most of ‘em anyway…

dinahmoehumm on February 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Someone comfort me please.

TexasJack on February 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Take heart man. Obama, with much help from the media lied his azz off up to during and after the election so he could remain in office. Now all of those laws they passed are having the impacts they held back until Nov 2012 was over.

If dems prevail in 2014 intact then its time for anarchy. I don’t think they will. Vote Tea Party in the primaries though.

DanMan on February 6, 2014 at 3:34 PM

You mean Zero won’t be coming to West Virginia? Darn! He and JoeMan could have gone snipe hunting or something.

Royal Fizzbin on February 6, 2014 at 3:36 PM

ObamaCare is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. Between it, and the expired Bush Tax cuts, our household is suffering pretty badly.

I won’t forget this either, democrats.

libfreesMom on February 6, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Democrats – “I was for ObamaCare before I was against it!”

GarandFan on February 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM

test

Nagan1 on February 6, 2014 at 3:41 PM

The man shows a remarkable lack of ego here (for a politician). He doesn’t even probably want to travel to blue dog territory, more time doing other things.

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I told you to get off the computer and clean your room.

libfreesMom on February 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

@DanMan

1. I don’t usually vote straight ticket. I only vote when I feel I have a full understanding of what I am voting for, and sadly that’s not very often. It’s mostly Greek to me.

2. I refuse to underestimate a Democrat’s(any politician)ability to lie to change the publics view on what’s really happening to them.

I’m 34 and pretty much given up hope on the future of this once GREAT NATION. Sorry to have such a defeatist attitude, but I can’t seem to help it.

TexasJack on February 6, 2014 at 3:44 PM

ObamaCare is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. Between it, and the expired Bush Tax cuts, our household is suffering pretty badly.

I won’t forget this either, democrats.

libfreesMom on February 6, 2014 at 3:37 PM

You should be able to get subsidizes under the Affordable Care Act. And despite what Faux News tells you…your taxes actually went down thanks to President Obama.

PajamaBoy the Destroyer on February 6, 2014 at 3:46 PM

You’re joking, right?? Zero absolutely will find a way to inject himself into these races. You are forgetting who (and what) this man is. It MUST be all about him, even though the rats are scurrying to get the eff away from him.

rick_blaines_forehead on February 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Obamacare will continue to be an ever-growing issue, especially among the LIVs, because once they get really sick or injured they will find out what a “deductible” is. Then there will be no avoiding the “teachable moment.”

ncinca on February 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM

The man boy shows a remarkable lack of ego here (for a politician). He doesn’t even probably want to travel to blue dog territory, more time doing other things.

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

You’re beaten to pulp.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Dear Mr. Obama,

I’m thinking of running for a city council position in 2020. Please let me know if you’d be willing stop by and give me a “shout out”/”wedgie”.

Regards,

Anthony Weiner

Rovin on February 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

The only thing NObama can do to help the rats is to campaign for the republicans.

lpd_1 on February 6, 2014 at 4:04 PM

I still have this foreboding feeling that this is all happening way too early. American voters are such fickle individuals. They’ll all forget what’s going on right now, then blindly vote for the same a**holes that got us into this mess.

Someone comfort me please.

TexasJack on February 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Well, you are correct that 24 hours in politics is a lifetime.

That said, Obama and the Dems are facing the 6-year itch. Further, Obamacare is only going to get worse and worse for these RATS. As long as we avoid nominating idiots like Akin and O’Donnell, our chances of winning the Senate are better than 50-50.

And then we can make his last two years a living Hell.

matthew8787 on February 6, 2014 at 4:06 PM

I don’t know…

There’s a large number of Austrian voters who revere this guy. He’s the first president that is fluent in Austrian and doesn’t affect a austro-negro accent, unless he chooses to do so. Plus he’s clean (showers once a month, whether he needs it, or not) and articulated. That explains how he can implant his head where the sun don’t shine!

For those Demonrats in a heavily Austrian immigrant district (such as…)don’t throw him under the bus, yet.

ZeusGoose on February 6, 2014 at 4:11 PM

libfreesMom on February 6, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Nice tag!

freedomfirst on February 6, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Your offspring must confound you!

freedomfirst on February 6, 2014 at 4:17 PM

…why?

KOOLAID2 on February 6, 2014 at 4:23 PM

PajamaBoy the Destroyer on February 6, 2014 at 3:46 PM

I need to get a plastic cover for my laptop…

lovingmyUSA on February 6, 2014 at 4:27 PM

I don’t really believe that’ll come to fruition. Obama keeps changing the rules of the ACA. I still believe he’ll try to do something, anything to make voters believe he is on their side and forget everything that’s happened to date.

TexasJack on February 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

I don’t think he can do it without going into open warfare against the health insurance companies. For those among the higher-risk people who were among the few beneficiaries of ObamaCare this year, they’re only seeing lower rates because the insurance companies assumed they would be balanced by younger, healthier lemmings people signing up for ObamaCare at higher-than-they-deserve rates, and subsidizing the first group.

That hasn’t happened, and odds are its not happening before the end of this year. Which means the insurance companies can either calculate their 2015 rates based on the no-longer hypothetical belief that young, healthy people are going to sign up, or they can figure rates based on the reality of the first-year data, in which case everyone who saw some minor benefit is going to get waylayed around election time.

You’d have to be the biggest Obama/Democratic suck-up insurance CEO in the world to go with Option 1, and if they go with Option 2, Team Obama will have no other option but to demonize the insurers. It might work with a few people, but the incompetence the administration has shown means I doubt people will take them at their word on this one.

jon1979 on February 6, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Barry agrees not to come to my state when I’m up for election. What is second prize?

cosifantutte on February 6, 2014 at 4:36 PM

So the President of the United States is going to avoid visiting certain states purely because of politics?

Where is the man who said this:

“Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.

The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too: We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States, and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States.”

Personally, it doesn’t bother me that I don’t have to put up with Obama visiting my state, but it does bother me that the media will not point out the fact that he will not be visiting these states (which all happen to be red states).

Apparently there are only Blue States now according to our President.

airupthere on February 6, 2014 at 4:38 PM

…your taxes actually went down thanks to President Obama.

PajamaBoy the Destroyer on February 6, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Hahahaha!
Wait, is ACA a tax or a product/service? Didn’t SCOTUS tell us it was a tax? So, anecdotally, a $12,000 increase is a reduction in taxes?

I’m still waiting for some idiotic carbon tax to be levied.

freedomfirst on February 6, 2014 at 4:39 PM

…your taxes actually went down thanks to President Obama.

PajamaBoy the Destroyer on February 6, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Well, I can see where my taxes may go down “thanks” to Preezy 0bamacare…. when I join the unemployed. Otherwise, I doubt I’ll ever be thanking him for a tax redux.

freedomfirst on February 6, 2014 at 4:43 PM

President Obama, struggling with low approval ratings after a dispiriting year of setbacks

I count five negative references in that phrase, all of them positive!

Actually, I doubt that the empty-headed nincompoop who occupies the White House gets dispirited about anything–he’s just too narcissistic for that.

MisterElephant on February 6, 2014 at 4:47 PM

The man shows a remarkable lack of ego here (for a politician). He doesn’t even probably want to travel to blue dog territory, more time doing other things.

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM
I told you to get off the computer and clean your room.

libfreesMom on February 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

I am already enjoying this.

KCB on February 6, 2014 at 4:55 PM

The man shows a remarkable lack of ego here (for a politician). He doesn’t even probably want to travel to blue dog territory, more time doing other things.
libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

A lack of ego?
What do you call it when a man is willing to take executive action that will impact millions of Americans while simultaneously saying that he will not be visiting the states where they likely believe those actions to have extremely negative consequences?

A man with humility would be willing to face the residents of those states and listen to their concerns. A man with humility might think Americans are capable of accomplishing great things without him taking unilateral action. The man you reference thinks himself to be the only one capable of unleashing America’s greatness. Hiding himself in a blue state/DC bubble and avoiding any dissenting opinions while avoiding witnessing the negative impacts of his executive actions means his ego is alive and well.

There are 535 other elected federal politicians in DC and Obama says he must act because his wisdom is greater than the collective wisdom of all the other currently elected leaders and our founding fathers. No ego at all.

airupthere on February 6, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Sure, we believe anything.

“The folks that people are actually interested in seeing are our incredible athletes,” Obama said

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Pariah.

We’ll see if his ego will allow him to stay out of the limelight. I mean really, after he signs all the executive orders and plays a round of golf every day, what else is there to do?

COgirl on February 6, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Spinners can twirl that baton for months, but they’re not going to build a parade out of it.

Nice turn of phrase, Ed.

cptacek on February 6, 2014 at 5:42 PM

@jon1979

I’ve already heard that the Obama Admin. is threatening the insurance companies. If they don’t play ball, they’re going to be cut from the exchanges. Then they’re really screwed.

Here is what I think is going to happen. The insurance companies are going to be coerced into playing the game Obama wants to play. They’ll keep rates low, then get reimbursed through the risk corridors. The public and LIVs aren’t wise to this trickery, and are led to believe that all is well, and the ACA is awesome.

Tell me I’m wrong. Any thoughts?

TexasJack on February 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM

The man boy shows a remarkable lack of ego here (for a politician). He doesn’t even probably want to travel to blue dog territory, more time doing other things.

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

You’re beaten to pulp.

Schadenfreude on February 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

…like play golf…

ladyingray on February 6, 2014 at 6:42 PM

You did great Mr President. Sit this one out, champ

I Have No Political Leanings Whatsoever on February 6, 2014 at 8:03 PM

So now they do not want obama to remind voters that obamacare is 100% a democrat program, in its planning, and deployment.
So anyone HURT by this law has a dem to thank.

sniffles1999 on February 7, 2014 at 7:38 AM