Kaine: Deeds Demonstrates Why Dem’s Shouldn’t Run from Obama


    I strongly agree with Tim Kaine on this one.

    In an interview with The Hill, Kaine said House Democrats who do not run with Obama’s agenda risk alienating their most energetic supporters.

    “If you distance yourself from the president, you can pour cold water on the excitement about what he is doing,” said Kaine, who alluded to Democrat Creigh Deeds’s problems.

    Deeds lost a special election in Kaine’s home state of Virginia last year after distancing himself from Obama, who had won Virginia’s electoral votes in the presidential context just a year earlier.

    “I can tell you this. Everywhere I go, every last community I visit, there are energetic supporters of this president who are excited about what he is doing,” Kaine said.

    Along these lines, I think this story is relevant. The bottom line is that most Democrats who are going to lose this November are moderate-to-conservative “blue dogs” in the 49 districts carried by John McCain. The vast majority of Democrats “from the Democratic wing” of the party are going to be re-elected. So, the question is, does it help the “blue dogs” to avoid appearing with – or not mentioning – President Obama? I’d argue strongly “no,” in that the “blue dogs” aren’t going to win any Republicans or Tea Partiers to their sides, regardless, yet by dissing Obama they’re going to reduce enthusiasm among the Democratic “base.”  In other words, it’s a “lose-lose” for Democrats in swing districts to stay away from Obama.  Don’t believe me? Just ask Creigh Deeds how refusing to say he was an “Obama Democrat” worked out for him.

    UPDATE: This is stupid too.

    • martinlomasney

      Can anyone inside the Beltway actually do their homework or is copying talking points and press releases from the spin machines just too exhausting?

      Simple mistakes that go right to their credibility.

      Lowell, how’d you let that one get by you? 😉

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      I agree that running away from the president who is simply doing what he said he would do in the election is not smart at all. Democrats should be happy to be Democrats. That said, Creigh Deeds was the weakest candidate to come out of the democratic primary. Why? He had little appeal in northern VA, especially when his “transportation plan” was to have a study commission tell him what to do. He also failed to tear into the ridiculous “plan” McDonnell put forth.

      Creigh did not know how to relate to the minority voters in the state. He lacked Tim Kaine’s connections with that community from being mayor of Richmond. He was visibly uncomfortable with minority voters.

      Creigh had little or nothing in common with Hampton Roads, either. Put all that together with a “summer AWOL,” and we have the debacle of 2009.

    • Jim B

      Maybe it was a mistake to have a primary where a few voters came out. I voted in the middle of the day and only three voters had shown up. I didn’t vote for Deeds in the primary, but did in the election.

      After the primary he kind of disappeared.

      I don’t know whom the party bosses would have picked. Hopefully it wouldn’t have been Deeds.

    • DanielK

      Whether people like it or not Creigh never lied in order to get votes and said what he honestly believed.  Plain and simple.  I was with the campaign as an active volunteer as deep as you can be and he never shy away from those “positions” that made him a “conserva-Dem” or Blue Dog, whatever.  As for the “Obama Democrat” the more I look at Obama’s positions I I’m not sure if one should shy away from it know that he’s been in office for nearly two years and we can see they type of leader that he is.  Personally, he isn’t as progressive and liberal and everyone made him out to be.  I think that is evident by the ultra left yelling “primary” for not being progressive enough on every single issue.  If you look at his positions, I knew he wasn’t that from some statements he made in ’08.

      I think a lot of how Creigh ran in the race was really based on his staff.  Unfortunately, the candidate gets the blame but I still think all the staff changes immediately after the primary was a damaging blow to him especially in Northern Virginia.  Lowell knows I’ve wrote about that here and I’ll leave it at that.  You don’t get rid of the people who got you to where you were following the primary and have to essentially rewrite the wheel.  Would it have changed things in the election?  Who knows, but personally I could see things take a shift when I didn’t even receive a call till late August.

      I agree with Lowell, you can’t shun your leader.  If you voted for him them you have to support him.  You don’t have follow him to the death on every issue because we aren’t the “Eat their Own” Republican party but I think those swing districts they have to find a balance of supporting the President’s overall domestic agenda and knowing when to break off when it’s best for their individual districts.  Tom Perriello is going to be a prime example.  He has supported many of the President’s important initiatives like health care and clean energy but also voted against some things like the budget.  I think he’s found a good balance because but we shall see in that regard!

    • linda b

      you can’t win by being “republican lite”.

      We need to work with OFA and get out the vote.