Senate Democrats hoping to hold on to their seats in 2012 are doing everything they can to disassociate themselves from President Barack Obama, seeking to avoid being tainted with his low approval numbers, according to the Wall Street Journal
Among the most prominent of these Democrats is Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who barely mentioned the president on a recent stop at the Preston County Buckwheat Festival.
And when he did, the Journal said, it wasn't in a laudatory way. “We’re trying to keep him straight,” Manchin told one vendor at the fair, “Trying to help him.”
If Obama were to campaign with Manchin, it “would be the kiss of death,” for the senator’s re-election bid,” Bob Taylor, a crafts seller at the fair, told the Journal.
“The most important thing that Joe Manchin has done is not get on the Obama bandwagon,” said Taylor, a Republican who backs Manchin.
It’s a story echoed in other districts around the country.
In Missouri, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill didn’t appear with the president when Obama paid a recent visit to St. Louis — she said she had a scheduling conflict.
And Democrats are also trying to separate themselves from Obama's legislation.
Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska voted to keep Obama’s jobs bill from reaching the Senate floor, the Journal noted.
Tester led an effort earlier this year to block a key element of Obama’s financial services law, limiting debit card fees paid by retailers.
The dissent in his own party is hampering Obama’s ability to get any legislation through Congress, and also endangering his own re-election bid.
It also has created a new line of attack for Republicans, according to the Journal: “Obama’s policies are so liberal that not even his fellow Democrats can stand him.”
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