By deciding not to campaign for Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, the president showed his fear that should his fellow partisan lose–as then seemed likely and now has happened–it would reflect poorly on him.
This is not the first time he has put his own political interests ahead of those of his party. Back in March, Politico reported that top Obama aides Jim Messina and David Plouffe told. . .
. . . Democratic congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi . . . that that there would be no cash transfers to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from OFA [Obama for America] or the DNC [Democratic National Committee], at least not before Election Day . . . .
Today, over at Ace of Spaces, the fetching Gabriel Malor reports that Barrett had supported Obama long before his party had coalesced around his candidacy:
Tom Barrett was one of Obama’s earliest, most prominent supporters in the Democratic primaries during 2008 cycle. In fact, Barrett presaged Obama’s eventual 2008 slogan by declaring in 2007 that Obama was the candidate who would “create hope in this country.”
Obama repaid Barrett’s early, crucial support by virtually ignoring him during the recall election. Obama made eight visits to Wisconsin after he was elected, and then abruptly stopped visiting once Barrett’s campaign to defeat Gov. Walker began and despite repeated overtures from Barrett to come to Wisconsin. The president actually played hopscotch to avoid Barrett last week, hitting both Minnesota and Illinois, but jumping twice over Wisconsin.
Via our loyal reader Leah. So focused is Obama on his own image, his own campaign, that he neglects someone who offered his support when most Democrats assumed Hillary Clinton would be the nominee. Interestingly, in 2010, Obama flew to Massachusetts to campaign for a Democrat who, in 2008, had backed Hillary all the up to the Democratic National Convention — even after the former First Lady herself had conceded.
Well, maybe that’s because he then thought his appearance in the Bay State could save his fellow partisan’s candidacy and he would shine in the reflected glory of her victory. Plus, he needed her vote in the Senate. But, with the possibility in 2012 of Barrett’s victory as slimmer than that of Coakley’s in 2010 — and no federal legislation at stake, Obama preferred to sit this one out.
“Obama,” Gabe quips, “is in it for himself and he doesn’t really care about anyone else.”