Even some Democratic candidates who are being heavily touted by the White House appear determined to keep the president at arm’s length. Shortly after Obama played a lead role in helping Sen. Michael Bennet defeat former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff in a Democratic primary fight last Tuesday, Bennet was asked whether he would want the president to campaign with him this fall. “We’ll have to see,” Bennet told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos — a response well short of a ringing endorsement of Obama’s political standing.
One senior Democratic consultant suggested that the distance candidates are seeking to put between themselves and Obama is reflective of the ascendance of economic issues in voters’ minds. “Barack Obama’s economic policy of spending our way out of recession is seen as a failure at best and harmful at worst,” the source said. “That should tell candidates in competitive jurisdictions all they need to know about running with the president.”