“The problem is not that we’re too mean or we’re too partisan,” Obama said at a fundraiser in May. “The problem is that I don’t have enough votes. Full stop.”
But for Democratic incumbents in top-tier Senate races, the Obama association is like a dead weight. His recent trips to states with competitive contests have been fraught with clumsy choreography between the candidates and the White House.
When Obama arrived in North Carolina on Tuesday to speak at the American Legion’s annual meeting, Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan — along with Republican Sen. Richard Burr — greeted him on the tarmac and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
But by the time Air Force One touched down in Charlotte, she had already pulled up the welcome mat, attacking his management of the Department of Veterans Affairs as a means of differentiate herself from the president. In prepared remarks for her own speech to the convention released ahead of the president’s visit — though she didn’t speak until after him — she added that the administration “has a long road ahead to restore the faith and trust of our veterans.”