Dems Ask Obama to Stay Out of Senate Campaigns

| by Allison Geller

With President Barack Obama’s poll numbers shaky at best across the nation, Senate Democrats are strategizing about how best to use the president on the midterm campaign trail, along with Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama. Most Senate candidates are asking Obama to steer clear of their campaigns, Politico reports.

“I don’t care to have him campaign for me,” Alaska Sen. Mark Begich told Politico. “I’d rather him come up to see where his policies aren’t working. He’s wrong on ANWR, we’ve had struggles to try to get our permits done down in the southeast for our timber industry, I want to show him how important the military is in Fairbanks."

David Domina, a Senate candidate in Nebraska, expressed similar sentiments.

“I don’t see endorsements as important at all. I wouldn’t be looking for the president’s campaigning assistance, and I don’t think it would make a difference,” Domina said in an interview. “If anyone came to Nebraska from Washington, D.C., who occupies any elected office there today and tried to appear with either the Democrat or Republican running for U.S. Senate, that person would be a distraction. That distraction would be a mistake.”

But Politico also found some candidates who would welcome Obama’s help on the campaign trail. Shenna Bellows, a Maine Democrat, says that Obama’s policies hit home with his potential constituents.

“The president’s emphasis on civil rights, women’s rights and economic equality are winning issues in a blue state like Maine,” Bellows said.

Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan, who is running against incumbent Carl Levin in the Senate race, stood next to Obama in East Lansing Friday during his official trip. And Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her office in Louisiana, said that Obama’s president would been a boon for her campaign as well.

“President Obama is very well-respected, and you know, if he chooses to come and campaign for me, I’d be honored to have him,” Landrau told Politico.

Vice President Biden has also been asked to blaze the campaign trail.

 “I’ve been invited to go into, well, over 128 races so far,” Biden told CNN last week. “And so there are some places the president is considerably more popular than I am, but there’s some places where I can go in and the president can’t.”

Michelle Obama, who put in many hours pumping up Democrats for the 2012 presidential election, will also be deployed by the White House. The first lady can work her popular appeal without being affected by the bad press of some of the president’s policies, according to Democrat strategists.

Politico reports that almost no Democrats up for Senate, neither incumbents nor challengers, gave “an unequivocal ‘yes’” when asked if they wanted Obama to campaign with them.

Sources: Politico