Obama in NC: Where's Senator Hagan?
The president went to North Carolina to pitch his new "Manufacturing Institute" that will be located in Raleigh. But he had to mount the stage without the presence of North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, who is one of the more vulnerable Democratic senators in 2014.
What happened next was a lesson for the Senator in Chicago Way politics.
President Barack Obama rhetorically wrapped his arms tightly around Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan Wednesday after she refused to appear with him on his day trip to North Carolina.
Hagan is facing a tough re-election bid in November, but her poll-ratings have been wrecked by her support for Obama's health law. Polls show she's fallen behind several potential GOP rivals.
So she declined to appear with Obama on his campaign-style day trip to her home state, while claiming she couldn't tear herself away from her pressing work in Washington D.C.
Obama responded to the apparent snub by wrapping himself around her at the start of his speech at North Carolina State University, which ended with the loudspeakers playing his 2012 campaign song from Bruce Springsteen.
"Sen. Kay Hagan couldn't be here," Obama said, "but I wanted to thank her - publicly - for the great work she's been doing."
Obama has other tools to exact revenge against Hagan and other Democrats who are thinking of ditching him. He's held more than 25 fundraisers for Democratic candidates, and plans to hold many more, but he doesn't have to share any of donations with Democrats who won't appear with him in public.
There are a lot of places where the president will not be joined by vulnerable Democrats. This will become painfully obvious in most of the states where vulnerable Democratic senators are running. Will Obama deny campaign funds to senators who find themslves too busy to tear themselves away from their work in Washington to join him on the hustings?