Fortunately for Claire McCaskill, she doesn’t have to make that call in 2014, thanks to a narrow escape in Missouri’s 2012 Senate election. If she did have to campaign in the post-ObamaCare rollout environment, though, McCaskill would know better than to invite a deeply unpopular President to accompany her while making a pitch for another six years in office, she tells Morning Joe (via Mediaite):
MARK HALPERIN: Senator, Mark Halperin here. If you were running for re-election in Arkansas, Louisiana or North Carolina, would you invite the president and campaign side-by-side with him?
CLAIRE MCCASKILL: You know, probably not. I mean, I try to be really candid and honest on this show. The president’s numbers are not strong in my state or in Arkansas or Louisiana or North Carolina. He did not win those states when he ran for re-election in 2012, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t win. These candidates in those states are strong candidates. They have been an independent voice for their states. They know how to stay on offense and talk about the Republicans shutting down the government, and the Republicans marginalizing great, hardworking people who come to this country wanting nothing more than be a part of the American dream. So I don’t — I think this issue of whether or not you have Obama come to your state is something we like to focus on in Washington, but probably is not that important when you get out to these states.
Note the one issue McCaskill omits in this defense of her “independent” colleagues? ObamaCare, for which all of them voted, and for which all will be held accountable in the post-rollout disaster. McCaskill tips the hand that Democrats will try and play in that environment — immigration and the GOP shutdown that was forgotten almost as soon as it ended, thanks in large part to … ObamaCare.
Good luck with that strategy. The shutdown will be a barely-remembered Beltway chess match, and immigration largely theoretical for the vast majority of the electorate. But ObamaCare will be hitting the pocketbooks of most Americans this year, thanks to rapid increases in premiums and lack of access to providers. They can try to avoid it all they want, but voters want accountability for the massive government incompetence unleashed by these Senate Democrats. Barack Obama will be at every campaign appearance in the political sense, even if he’s holed up in the White House from now until the second week of November.