Indicted Detroit Mayor Seen as Obama Liability

Dems mull uninviting Kilpatrick to Denver; GOP links two in ad
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2008 8:00 AM CDT
In this May 7, 2007 file photo, Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd after being introduced by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at the Detroit Economic Club in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
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(Newser) – Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is, like Barack Obama, a charismatic black Democrat. He’s also facing multiple felony charges and recently spent a night in jail for violating conditions of his bond. The GOP thinks he could hurt Obama in Michigan come November, the Detroit News reports. Kilpatrick and Obama have never been close associates, but the Tennessee Republican Party has begun running ads showing Obama praising Kilpatrick. The clip predates Kilpatrick’s legal trouble.

Democrats are also wondering if Kilpatrick, a superdelegate, can or should attend the national convention. One judge briefly removed Kilpatrick’s travel restrictions and GPS tether yesterday, but another reinstated them three hours later. If he does go, Kilpatrick will be “an onion in the salad,” says one Democratic consultant. “People will have to make a decision on whether they want to stand there and smile or run away. I think they'll run away.”