Cillizza: Congressional Dems Running from the President
Fight or flight?
That is the question Democratic incumbents and challengers in this fall’s elections are asking themselves when it comes to dealing with President Obama. Is the best course to distance oneself from a president whose job-approval rating has sunk below 50 percent and whose appeal to independents has gone missing? Or to embrace him and his policies — the majority of which remain quite popular with the Democratic base that will be essential to any victories that the party claims this fall?
Powerful forces are lining up on both sides of that strategic divide.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine made clear in an interview with “Fox & Friends” last week that he thinks candidates distancing themselves from the president — and from high-profile congressional leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — are making the wrong move. “I can tell you Democrats who kind of are afraid to be who they are, or pushing back on their leaders, I think they’re crazy,” Kaine said.
And yet, in campaigns across the country, many Democrats are doing just that.