OK, Let's Go Down That Road
by Josh Orton, Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 06:12:37 PM EDT
At the Atlantic, Ambinder prints an email the RNC has been pushing around that tries (desperately, albeit creatively) to present a pattern of down-ticket Democrats who think Obama's too liberal. Or something.
The crux of citations revolve around the announcement by conservative Democrat Dan Boren that he wouldn't "endorse" Barack Obama.
Today, Oklahoma's lone Democrat Congressman joined a growing number of Democrats who are distancing themselves from Barack Obama...
"Boren, the lone Democrat in Oklahoma's congressional delegate, said that while Obama has talked about working with Republicans, `unfortunately, his record does not reflect working in a bipartisan fashion.'" (Associated Press, 06/10/08)
Ambinder asks "does the RNC really want to get into a debate over the number of partisans in each party who don't fully support their party's nominee?"
The answer is no. Or it should be.
Despite the sloppy claim of a "growing" number of Democrats distancing themselves from Obama, in truth there's really only a small handful. And they look like mostly exceptions.
Boren, specifically, is a 35-year-old conservative Democrat serving in a district Bush won by 18% in 2004. He was one of the last to favor S-CHIP, and kept voting with Bush against an Iraq timetable long after nearly every other Dem in the House left him behind.
More generally, it's the Republicans who've really got problems with support for their ticket. DemFromCT has a rundown, but my favorite is this one from Bay Buchanan:
Since McCain has become the presumptive nominee, I have spoken at more than two dozen Republican gatherings. The sentiment everywhere can best be summarized in the words of one of the activists, "No matter who wins in November, we lose."
McCain, for his part, won't even appear publicly with his party's sitting president for more than 45 seconds, and his own campaign considers the nominee's home Arizona turf a battlegound state.
And as Singer has discussed, the GOP strategy of tying down-ticket Dem politicians in traditionally red districts to national Democratic leaders has proven a spectacular flop.
Boren apparently didn't get the memo. He did get his headline though - and some misleading fodder for the RNC.