On Campaign Trail, Some Dems Dodging Obama

Few say so publicly, but congressional reps are steering clear
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 11:45 AM CDT
President Obama waves after disembarking from Air Force One at the Los Angeles International Airport yesterday.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The official message from Democratic leadership is that no one considers President Obama to be a political liability. However, as next year's election race heats up, there are growing signs that Democrats in battleground states aren't exactly clamoring for the president's help. In Obama's trips to Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina—all states he carried in 2008—the local congressmen were nowhere to be found, in what Politico calls "a harbinger of a humbling election year to come."

In North Carolina last week, only two of the state's eight Democratic representatives appeared with the president. And two weeks ago in Pittsburgh, all three Democrats from the area avoided any public appearances with Obama. “A lot of members of Congress are complete wusses," says Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor. "It’s absurd to think if you show up with the president, you’re doing yourself some damage. Do these members think for a minute voters are going to forget they are Democrats?" (Check out this story for some reasons why some Democrats might consider Obama a loser in 2012).

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