Will Dems invite Obama to campaign with them?

Democrats who are being targeted by the GOP this year have a conundrum to work out; do they keep their president at arms length and not invite him into their districts or do they embrace Obama and court disaster?

The question is tougher than it might seem on the surface. Obama may be poison to independents and Republicans but he is still very popular with most Democrats. This means that a presidential appearance at a fundraiser can garner huge dollars.

On the other hand, being seen with an unpopular president makes it that much easier for a GOP opponent to tie the incumbent to the president's coattails.

Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times:

When Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia, was asked last week whether he was convinced that Mr. Obama was fully focused on the midterm election campaign, he paused for 18 seconds and lowered his head before continuing."I don't know the answer to that," said Mr. Connolly, chairman of the freshman class of Democrats, who were elected in 2008. "I am confident they will focus. I'm confident at the end of the day that they understand that significant losses or loss of control will have a terribly serious negative impact on his presidency."

The president has taken several steps to ease tensions.

He is headlining a dozen fund-raisers in August, and he has purposefully sharpened his rhetoric against Republicans to help lead the political debate. The Democratic National Committee is spending heavily on House and Senate races and on a program intended to draw first-time voters from the 2008 Obama campaign to the polls in November.

The White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a point person for members of Congress and governors seeking campaign help or advice. The president has sent top advisers to weekly meetings on Capitol Hill to help coordinate the party's message.

No doubt Rahm gets an earful at those meetings. As it stands now, there are probably 70 vulnerable Democrats and the party has to concentrate on saving at least 30 of those seats to maintain control of the House. This is a daunting task even with someone who is as big a money maker as Obama. Also, there is no guarantee that the number of GOP targets won't rise between now and November further complicating what is becoming a delicate dance between those members who desperately need Obama's fundraising help but realize he would be a kiss of death if he campaigned in their districts.

Republicans had pretty much the same choice in 2006 and lost. The fact is, there is no good solution to having an unpopular president who can also shake the money tree. Further proof that, unless the GOP does something stupid, they have an excellent shot of regaining control of the House and an outside chance of getting the senate.





Democrats who are being targeted by the GOP this year have a conundrum to work out; do they keep their president at arms length and not invite him into their districts or do they embrace Obama and court disaster?

The question is tougher than it might seem on the surface. Obama may be poison to independents and Republicans but he is still very popular with most Democrats. This means that a presidential appearance at a fundraiser can garner huge dollars.

On the other hand, being seen with an unpopular president makes it that much easier for a GOP opponent to tie the incumbent to the president's coattails.

Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times:

When Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia, was asked last week whether he was convinced that Mr. Obama was fully focused on the midterm election campaign, he paused for 18 seconds and lowered his head before continuing.

"I don't know the answer to that," said Mr. Connolly, chairman of the freshman class of Democrats, who were elected in 2008. "I am confident they will focus. I'm confident at the end of the day that they understand that significant losses or loss of control will have a terribly serious negative impact on his presidency."

The president has taken several steps to ease tensions.

He is headlining a dozen fund-raisers in August, and he has purposefully sharpened his rhetoric against Republicans to help lead the political debate. The Democratic National Committee is spending heavily on House and Senate races and on a program intended to draw first-time voters from the 2008 Obama campaign to the polls in November.

The White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a point person for members of Congress and governors seeking campaign help or advice. The president has sent top advisers to weekly meetings on Capitol Hill to help coordinate the party's message.

No doubt Rahm gets an earful at those meetings. As it stands now, there are probably 70 vulnerable Democrats and the party has to concentrate on saving at least 30 of those seats to maintain control of the House. This is a daunting task even with someone who is as big a money maker as Obama. Also, there is no guarantee that the number of GOP targets won't rise between now and November further complicating what is becoming a delicate dance between those members who desperately need Obama's fundraising help but realize he would be a kiss of death if he campaigned in their districts.

Republicans had pretty much the same choice in 2006 and lost. The fact is, there is no good solution to having an unpopular president who can also shake the money tree. Further proof that, unless the GOP does something stupid, they have an excellent shot of regaining control of the House and an outside chance of getting the senate.





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