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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

CAMBRIDGE, Md. — Democrats seem to be two different parties these days. Most House of Representatives Democrats love President Barack Obama and are eager to run on his record. Senate Democrats? Some yes, some no.

On Friday, Obama wrapped up a series of February meetings with congressional Democrats, sessions aimed at finding common ground on a host of contentious issues and plotting strategy for the November elections.

The president, speaking to House Democrats as they ended their three-day retreat at a Maryland Eastern Shore resort, offered a nine-minute pep talk that avoided any mention of contentious issues, notably trade. Obama wants legislation that would make it easier for the administration to get trade agreements. But doing so would dilute Congress’ say, so Democratic leaders are largely opposed.

Obama did not discuss trade. Instead, he said, “There are some big things that we have to do that I cannot do through executive action.” Among those, he listed an increase in the minimum wage and immigration.

He got warm applause. The House of Representatives’ 200 Democrats are largely pleased with the administration. Most are running in carefully drawn congressional districts where Obama remains popular.

“This is a very ideologically cohesive caucus,” said Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at Washington’s Brookings Institution. “They represent blue places.”

Senate Democrats often do not. Democratic-held seats in states that Republican Mitt Romney carried in 2012 — West Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Dakota, Alaska, Louisiana and Montana — are all seen as potential Republican wins. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to control the Senate next year.

Obama met with Senate Democrats last week at their Washington retreat and also spoke separately with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and party strategists. “My Democratic senators are a part of the team with President Obama,” Reid said afterward.

Maybe not. Obama’s support for gun control and his health-care program are highly unpopular in several swing states, despite assurances Friday from Vice President Joe Biden that “on every major issue people agree with the Democratic Party.”

A lot of Democrats would disagree. “I don’t care to have him campaign for me,” Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, where Obama’s Gallup approval rating last year averaged 33.5 percent, told CNN . “I’d rather him come up to see where his policies aren’t working.”

Swing-state senators’ reluctance to embrace Obama is widespread. After Obama gave his State of the Union address Jan. 28, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) said he was “disappointed” because “he was heavy on rhetoric, but light on specifics about how we can move our country forward.”

Pryor, whose state in 2013 gave Obama a 34.9 percent Gallup approval rating, offered his own specifics, disagreeing with Obama on gun control and farm policy.

“I had hoped he would strike a more bipartisan tone because, if recent history shows anything, red vs. blue is dead-end politics,” Pryor said.

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3 responses to “Obama’s Meetings With Congress’ Democrats Reflect Worries Of Senate Incumbents”

  1. daniel bostdorf says:

    The key phrase is written here:

    “Rep. Steve Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, counters that it’s Republicans who should be worried. “No one is less popular right now than congressional Republicans,” he said.”

    There are 8 months left and the DNC and DCCC and associated super PACS will gear up appropriately to get the message out that the real enemy is the GIOP….not the Obama administration..

    And cooler heads in the Democratic party MUST prevail:

    ““We do have to be bolder, but abandoning the president is out of the question,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

  2. 4sanity4all says:

    Shame on the Democrats who do not stand with President Obama. I get that there may be some issues on which they do not agree with the President’s position, but what is the alternative- doing nothing? Or standing with Republicans? I know that some parts of the country love their guns, but the legislation that was proposed was very middle of the road, so I do not understand why Democratic Senators did not back it. And if they do not understand what the ACA is all about, no wonder they did not ‘sell’ it in their home state. It sounds to me like there are voters in their states that are getting little or no information, or misinformation, and these Democratic Senators did nothing to educate them.

    • daniel bostdorf says:

      I think the Senate Democrats are still on board, albeit incumbents always have their fingers in the wind. But politics usually behind the scenes dictates an incumbents action more often than not especially true with the newly created Democratic ‘Super PACS” and their much needed cash and advertisinf support.

      From the article:
      “Obama did not discuss trade. Instead, he said, “There are some big things that we have to do that I cannot do through executive action.” Among those, he listed an increase in the minimum wage and immigration……..He got warm applause. The House of Representatives’ 200 Democrats are largely pleased with the administration. Most are running in carefully drawn congressional districts where Obama remains popular…….“This is a very ideologically cohesive caucus,” said Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at Washington’s Brookings Institution. “They represent blue places.”…….Senate Democrats often do not. Democratic-held seats in states that Republican Mitt Romney carried in 2012 — West Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Dakota, Alaska, Louisiana and Montana — are all seen as potential Republican wins. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to control the Senate next year……..Obama met with Senate Democrats last week at their Washington retreat and also spoke separately with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and party strategists. “My Democratic senators are a part of the team with President Obama,” Reid said afterward.

      And this is the key what Reid stated. Because to get that Super PAC money, they need to tow the party line.

      The superpac Reid is involved with: Senate Majority PAC.

      Example of this PACS power:
      Michael Bloomberg Donated $2.5 Million To Harry Reid’s Super PAC

      http://lonelyconservative.com/2014/01/michael-bloomberg-donated-2-5-million-to-harry-reids-super-pac/

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