Blue Dog John Barrow Suddenly Appears Vulnerable

Meet John Barrow.

He's a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.

And he represents the 12th congressional district of Georgia, a congressional district won by President Obama in both the primary and the general election.

Congressman Barrow was among the 34 Democrats who voted against the health care bill [SOURCE:  Roll Call 165].  That vote earned Barrow the ire of Democrats within his district.  Several Democratic lawmakers have either withdrawn their support from Barrow or endorsed his primary opponent, former state Senator Regina Thomas [Peterson, Larry (2010-3-24).  Black backlash against health care vote looms over Barrow's re-election prospectsSavannah Morning News.  Retrieved on 2010-3-27.].

Tony Center, the local Democratic county chair, says Barrow is in some real trouble. 

"I think it has brought his whole voting record to the forefront," Center said.

Center said he's "very disappointed" and that the [Chatham County Democratic] committee repeatedly called on Barrow to back the bill.

CQ Politics reports there are rumblings of a bigger name challenging Barrow in the July primary.

...in recent days, there has been increased speculation about a possible primary bid by state Sen. Lester Jackson. . .

Along with his work in the state legislature, Jackson, who is black, is a dentist and a Democratic national committeeman. Jackson was a champion of the health care bill in his home state and worked to rally support for the legislation.

Under one scenario, Jackson’s entry into the primary would allow Thomas — who was never a strong fundraiser during her 2008 run and had less than $5,000 on hand at the end of 2009 — to drop out of the congressional contest and run for her old state Senate seat. That would allow Jackson to consolidate the support of black voters, who are expected to make up nearly two-thirds of the Democratic primary electorate in the 12th district this summer.

McArdle, John (2010-3-25). Vote Provokes Barrow Primary Talk. CQ Politics. Retrieved on 2010-3-27.

Candidate Obama endorsed Barrow's re-election bid in 2008.  The AFL-CIO backed Barrow in '06 and '08.  This year, however, that could change as organized labor has thrown down the gauntlet.

"I hope this sends a message to Congress," Gerald McEntee, president of 1.6-million-member AFSCME, told the Huffington Post. "I think we have to demonstrate that we are not going to stand aside, that we are going to take them out if they don't help us at all."  [Stein, Sam (2010-3-9).  Labor On Dems Who Block Health Care Reform:  We'll 'Take Them Out'.   The Huffington Post.  Retrieved on 2010-3-27.]

In addition, President Obama threatened not to campaign for any Democrat who did not support the health care bill [Spillius, Alex (2010-3-15).  Barack Obama threatens to withdraw support from wavering DemocratsThe Daily Telegraph (United Kingdom).  Retrieved on 2010-3-27.

With the base gradually pulling their support from the three-term Congressman, John Barrow suddenly appears vulnerable for a strong challenge in the Democratic primary.

CQ Politics ranks the 12th district of Georgia as "likely Democratic."

Tags: U.S House of Representatives, Election 2010, John Barrow, 12th congressional district of Georgia, Democrats (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

No good deed goes unpunished.

In 2004, being fed up with Congress and the Bush administration, I made financial contributions to the special elections campaigns of Stephanie Herseth and Ben Chandler, and to the general election campaign of John Barrow. They all voted no on HCR. Live and learn.

by JimR 2010-03-27 09:08AM | 1 recs
Herseth

I will say this as a former resident of South Dakota:  Stephanie Herseth represented the stunted backwards attitude of her state as she should have.  Had she voted for it, she would have been toast and Democrats would have been set back for years.  I know it defies logic, but sometimes you have to stand up and represent the WORST aspects of your voting constituency.

by Hammer1001 2010-03-27 10:14AM | 0 recs
About damn time

I can understand funding and voting for drones like Barrow and Herseth in the heat and confusion and urgency of winning the Congress back. 

No more.

We passed them a baton to carry, and if they dropped it or it became too hard to carry and almost cost us the track meet, why they need to be back on the bench reflecting on what an honor it is to get a chance to even be in the race, and what drive and sacrifices it takes to hold on to a bitterly-won lead.

The Democratic Party has no shortage of young, idealistic, energetic, dedicated, hard-working young Progressives.  As older white Republicans fade, we need to press hard to regain Blue seats in places that have been turned red by corporate money. 

We do this by building on our strength:  our young.  The inspiration and dedication Progressive ideals of caring, sharing, and fairness inspire in the hearts of of our young people have always been the source of our success.

by dembluestates 2010-03-27 11:58AM | 1 recs
Constructive Criticism

Would you please incluce the state and district where the said congress critter is from at the begining of your articles. Most of us don't have the where abouts of the 435 members of congress memorized. Thank you.

by phastphil 2010-03-27 01:19PM | 0 recs
RE: Constructive Criticism

Thanks for the heads up!

by Andre Walker 2010-03-27 02:23PM | 0 recs
Blue America PAC Endorses Regina Thomas. . .

. . . Because primaries matter.

Blue America PAC today threw its weight behind former state Sen. Regina Thomas in the 12th congressional district Democratic primary.  Thomas is challenging three-term Congressman John Barrow.

Blue America also asked supporters to donate money towards getting this ad on t.v.

Howie Klein, speaking on behalf of Blue America, cited John Barrow's vote against the health care bill and Thomas' long record of advocating for working families as the reason behind the endorsement.

History will remember this week as the one in which a tremendous stride was made down the road towards universal healthcare. But reactionary Georgia Blue Dog, John Barrow, was on the wrong side of history. A stranger to his own district and out of touch with its people, he voted twice in committee and 4 times on the floor of the House against healthcare reform. He voted against the bill last Sunday, causing an explosion of anger among Democrats back home. And then he arrogantly voted against the Senate reconciliation on Thursday evening, one of only 32 conservative Democrats to cross the aisle and voted with the GOP. But voting with the GOP is his default position on most everything. Does that make sense?

Today Blue America is honored to formally endorse former state Senator Regina Thomas, a strong advocate for working families with a long record in her district and in the state capitol.  She offers her neighbors in eastern Georgia a far different outlook than John Barrow. Regina's perspective on governance is pure FDR-- the government is there to protect us from forces outside of our own control, whether that be foreign enemies or domestic predators. If Barrow's #1 concern is holding down taxes for the powerful and immensely rich transnational corporations that have financed his political career, Regina's concern is that the rich and powerful pay their fair share so that the society that has enriched them continues to prosper and thrive for everyone.

Klein, Howie (2010-3-27). Blue America Welcomes Our Old Friend Regina Thomas. Crooks And Liars. Retrieved on 2010-3-27.
by Andre Walker 2010-03-27 02:27PM | 1 recs

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