Obama's Rightward Drift

by: Matt Stoller

Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 20:40

Ezra Klein notes that Obama's team of national security experts is fairly conservative.  This isn't a shocker.  And then there's this.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has taped a radio commercial on behalf of U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Savannah, who faces a July 15 primary challenge.

It's the first case of Obama involving himself in a local race in Georgia.

Details of when the ad will start airing and where it will be broadcast - the 12th District covers much of east Georgia, including portions of Augusta and Savannah - were not immediately available Wednesday.

But the Obama campaign made clear to my colleague Aaron Sheinin that it sees Barrow, a two-term Democrat, as an important ally. We've got calls into the Barrow campaign, but haven't heard from them yet.

Barrow is one of the most reactionary members of Congress, and he's facing a progressive primary challenger in Regina Thomas.  I could go into Barrow's voting record, but you can just watch this ad he ran for his campaign.

70% of the primary voters in GA-12 are African-American.  Barrow is white and has $1.3 million, Thomas is a progressive African-American and a state legislator, and has very little money.  I don't know what kind of game Obama is playing, but using his remarkable brand to protect conservative Democrats is a move reminiscent of Nancy Pelosi endorsing Al Wynn.  If Barrow loses, Obama has a progressive ally in Thomas.  If Barrow wins, a conservative House Democrat owes Obama a big favor.  It's a no-lose proposition for him.

As Obama consolidates his power within the party, note who he is bringing with him in terms of economic policy and foreign policy, and note who he is protecting politically.

It is up to us to create a progressive check on Obama, and we might just have our first opportunity.

UPDATE:  Chris Hayes has more.

Matt Stoller :: Obama's Rightward Drift

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Has anyone gotten Obama to comment on this? .. (4.00 / 4)
Why is he supporting an asshat reactionary?  What good will does he think he's getting from this?  Is Obama just another member of the incumbency protection racket?  I thought he wanted to change how DC did business .. supporting Barrow isn't the way to do that

I've Been Telling (4.00 / 2)
you guys for many months now that with Obama's post-partisanship platform that it will be the Blue Dogs and the Republicans who will be empowered. Over and over again I have said that only to have my words fall on deaf ears.

Little did I know that he wouldn't wait until elected - that is if he gets elected - to start empowering them. In fact with moves like this he does not even have to get elected to empower them because he is throwing his name behind them now so that with his win or without it they will get elected. And how many more will he do this for?

He just keeps tossing Liberal off the bus  and you guys keep supporting him!!! Like I've said before - I never dreamed I would see people who call themselves Progressives go down this path. It's truly pathetic. How can a guy expect to pass a Liberal agenda think he can do so when supporting the people who won't allow it? The answer is he doesn't expect to pass such an agenda, obviously. I mean look at his 180 degree reversal on NAFTA today. He snookered activist to get him the nomination and look what you get - a self-professed free trader who says one thing and then quickly does another. Obviously Obamarama will be the DLC on steroids.

Keep those checks flowing to him so he can pay production costs and even toss in some bucks to run the spots.
send them checks to: ObamaBlueDogs.com

[ Parent ]
I'll comment (4.00 / 7)
He's supporting a guy in a primary that was one of the 21 Dems that tried to pre-emptively surrender and capitulate on the FISA issue.

So, instead of being able to support his campaign, I'm forced to send money to a fund to target Dems (including one he's supporting in a primary!) so that they don't eviscerate the rule of law and our constitutional protections that this selfsame, all to help defeat a piece of legislation that he also claims to oppose.

What a complete waste of resources, time, and energy.

[And, please no one lecture me on this is what happens for supporting Barack for President. Hillary would almost certainly be acting the exact same way, and either will be better as President on these issues than McCain. I'm not stupid and naive, but it does suck that our choices have to be so sub-optimal.]

[ Parent ]
Which is why is should have been Edwards.... (4.00 / 3)
I don't trust Barack Obama.  I want to, but...

[ Parent ]
So . . . (0.00 / 0)
this is the CHANGE candidate?  Again, does anyone have any idea what that means?

[ Parent ]
So (4.00 / 9)
What are we going to do about it?

Not to be a asshole but the netroots has not been particularly helpful to Thomas. You clearly get that she is a good candidate and have for quite awhile and yet I haven't seen you lift a finger for her.

This is a stupid move by Obama but not very surprising. People at the top of the ticket are not going to endorse progressive primary challengers. It's not going to happen. If we want progressive primary challengers to win we need to have guts and fight for them. So far I have not seen that. I would be happy to be proven wrong.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

If they're not supporting progressive primary challengers (4.00 / 8)
(and I can understand why they don't), they don't have to go and support reactionary Dixiecrat idiots in primaries.  The active support is the thing that bothers me, not the lack of involvement on the good side in primaries.

[ Parent ]
exactly (0.00 / 0)
He could have done nothing and just let his coattails (and increased African-American turnout) hold the seat for Dems.  

[ Parent ]
perhaps (4.00 / 1)
it's another sign they really want to win Georgia and think this will somehow convince moderates to vote O.

[ Parent ]
Maybe (4.00 / 7)
it's beacuse Barrow has supported him for a long time and is the co-chair of Obama's Vote for Change campaign.

It's a stupid move but it's understandable. He is helping out someone who helped him out.

And we are not doing anything to help the person who we want to win.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Ha! Coattails? (4.00 / 1)
it is pretty obvious how he wants any coattails he may have be put to use. And it isn't about electing Progressives.

You also forget that Obama has praised Republican more than he has Progressive Dems. So with that praise just who do you think will benefit from his coattails? Well Republicans and Blue Dog Dems of course. Independent Swing voters choosing Republican listen to Obama and say if the Repubs are OK with him then they must be OK with me. And you may have notices that those Independent voters were 50-50 split with McCain according to Pew. Could that be because Obama said Republicans are OK? Of which McCain is one.

[ Parent ]
I agree . . . (0.00 / 0)
it's analogous to flying to CT to endorse Lieberman in the primary.  And then supporting Lamont in the general, but refusing to campaign for him.

[ Parent ]
local campaign (4.00 / 1)
Thomas is running a localized campaign.  This is not to say we won't help, we will.  But you can't just plug into infrastructure the way we normally do.

[ Parent ]
Since When Are Greenbacks (0.00 / 0)
not good on a local level?

[ Parent ]
using money well (4.00 / 1)
People who don't raise don't know how to spend.

[ Parent ]
if the challenger can't raise money (0.00 / 0)
then she isn't much of a challenger.

I wouldn't waste my time or money on a challenger who can't raise money, no matter how progressive.  Waste of time.  

I can't imagine this challenger even shows a blip on the radar.  

[ Parent ]
Well (0.00 / 0)
Time is running out. Running a tiny last minute fundraiser like you did for Fallon isn't going to cut it.

Barrow has a ton of cash and Thomas is not a good fundraiser. If we want to help her win then she needs cash. Period.

Complaining about Obama cutting a radio spot for incumbent Dems (this is not the first time he has done this) is not going to do anything about defeating John Barrow. If this blog was a fundraising appeal for Thomas it would have done a thousand dollars more good.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
no (4.00 / 4)
If we want to help her win then she needs cash. Period.

No, she doesn't.  She doesn't believe in doing direct mail or TV.  She doesn't believe in fundraising.  She isn't going to run a modern campaign even if she gets the cash.  That isn't to say that things can't be done, it's just that it's going to take time and effort to do it for her outside of her campaign.

It was a similar situation with Fallon, who I spoke with several times.  It became clear the day before the election that he could not run a competent campaign and was using bad voter data.  That is why we didn't endorse and raise earlier, because he wasn't running a competent campaign that could use the money.  I am not convinced that the last minute fundraiser, which was not tiny by the way, but fairly sizeable, was used particularly well.  It was important as a symbol, and I gave, but giving more earlier would not have made a difference.

You really have no idea how campaigns work and the necessity for professionalism in approaching these decisions.  The panicked 'she needs help now' attitude is not helpful and isn't going to serve you well in making political decisions.  And bullying people by nasty comments and denigrating the people who did choose to give to Fallon has lost you credibility already.

[ Parent ]
Look (4.00 / 2)
I gave to Fallon so I'm not exactly denigrating myself.

I did not know that about Thomas. I'm not nearly as connected as you. My apologies, I should not have assumed so much. If that's so I don't see how she's going to win. How can we help her if she isn't going to use money? Very frustrating.

I'm just trying to help Matt and I don't have anywhere near the platform you do or the inside info that you do. All I care about is getting Better Democrats and since I had no idea Thomas didn't plan on running a real campaign I didn't get why her campaign was being ignored. Apologies if I came off as a bully.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately (4.00 / 3)
I know all too well what you mean. We had a candidate for a State Senate seat here in California who took a similar attitude - didn't want to fundraise, didn't want to run a modern campaign with mail and ads and such. It made it very difficult for us who wanted eagerly to help him out, because he didn't want what we who lived in his district could offer.

[ Parent ]
regarding Fallon's campaign (0.00 / 0)
If you are suggesting that he didn't run ads because he didn't believe in using tv, I don't agree. He ran tv ads during his gubernatorial campaign.

When I talked to him in January or February, he talked about running several weeks of tv ads in this race, both introducing himself in a positive way and responding to criticism.

His biggest problem was that he hired too many staffers in January, which left him with no money to advertise when fundraising fell short. With the money he did raise, he should have been able to run some ads.

As for the bad voter data, if you are referring to Fallon's decision not to spend $10,000 to buy access to the Iowa Democratic Party's voter file, I agree with you. That was a penny-wise and pound-foolish decision.

Or are you talking about the way they arrived at their own "internal numbers"?

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
instructive words, but i also wonder (4.00 / 1)
why then hold this person up as some sort of legitimate candidate that is trying to challenge the status quo in the party but for political reasons can't get the support of Obama? If this person can't run a competent campaign and you all won't back them, why be so surprised that Obama and whom ever else won't back them either? If she can't run a primary campaign why would anyone think she could run a regular race either?

Seems a bit of a double standard that you dismiss her legitimacy on one hand, but use her to frame Obama as a centrist on the other. Not saying Obama isn't moving center, its about your mixed message of the legitimacy of her campaign.


Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Disappointing (0.00 / 0)
I guess that didn't take very long for Barack to start toeing the party line, literally. Would he step in in a primary like Fallon/Boswell where the conservative endorsed Hillary and generally isn't much help to him -- and where the challenger backed him? Not so much, but he will jump in to help an asshat.

Maybe this is painting by numbers and is literally the least he can do to keep the Blue Dogs happy, etc., etc., but this lets me know not to expect much from him in the FISA mess, not that I ever did.

It's a shame, really.  

GA 12 is a marginally Dem district (4.00 / 6)
My guess is that Obama endorsed Barrow because he doesn't believe Thomas can win the general election. Barrow won the seat with 51.8% of the vote in 2004 and 50.3% in 2006. Kerry got 50.2% of the vote in the district in 2004. Blacks may be 70% of the primary vote, but everybody else in the general election will be white and most of them will be rednecks. And Barrow voted 65% with the party line in 2006 and 65% with the AFL-CIO, which is better than nothing under his predecessor, Max Burns, whom Barrow unseated in 2004.

Ditto, Leo (4.00 / 3)
Splitting Democratic voters along racial lines by pushing an African-American candidate who neither knows how to raise money nor how to organize an effective campaign is not a "progressive" program.

Challenging Blue Dogs is a worthy objective, but the challenge needs to be done by a progressive who (1) has the resources to prosecute two campaigns - both primary and general, since many of the Blue Dogs are in competitive two-party districts; and who (2) is a good enough "fit" with the demographics of the district to win the general election. It appears that neither of these criteria are met by the challenger in this primary.

Obama's support for an incumbent who needs a united party in order to defeat the Republican candidate in November sends a message to moderates and Independents that Obama is not a "racialist" candidate. That's a good thing, not a bad thing for Obama to do. It would actually be bad strategy - as well as being a racialist strategy - for Obama to support a black candidate who is an inferior campaigner over a white incumbent who is a proven campaigner.

Now if Barrow is re-elected with Obama's help, and Obama wins a convincing victory in November, Barrow will be obligated to Obama. If Barrow bails out on critical votes where Obama asks for his support, Obama will be completely justified in supporting a challenger (though historically a president does not endorse a challenger against an incumbent Congressman, even a Congressman who has been a thorn in the president's side). If Barrow demonstrates disloyalty, then this district ought to be ripe for a moderate but populist-oriented white Democrat - its apparently been gerrymandered to the point where no fully progressive Democrat has much chance of winning.

Obama should be supporting Steve Cohen in Memphis (TN) in the same way. Does anyone know whether Obama is supporting Cohen?

[ Parent ]
I would assume so (0.00 / 0)
But Cohen is not in any electoral danger. His only real opposition is there beacuse the corrupt local machine there doesn't like him. Also his primary isn't until like September.  

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
I remember Barrow's 2004 election was close (0.00 / 0)
And was about to bring that up and say, well, no one else could win there, as I wrongly assumed it was a conservative district.  But no.  The district voted for Kerry and we're still stuck with this guy?


Saxby Chambliss  

[ Parent ]
Telco Immunity -- do GA-12 voters know or care? (4.00 / 1)
Couldn't the Obama campaign support Barrow in exchange for a reversal on this one issue? Doesn't seem so tough, if indeed the Obama group was against immunity.

[ Parent ]
GA-21 (4.00 / 1)
GA-21 is in no way comparable to MD-4.

From Wikipedia: "At the same time Barrow was elected, the Republicans won control of both houses of the Georgia state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. One of their first acts was an unprecedented mid-decade redistricting that targeted Barrow and the other white Democrat in the Georgia delegation, Jim Marshall. One proposed map, seriously considered, would have drawn his home in Athens into the heavily Republican 10th District of seven-term incumbent Nathan Deal, while throwing the other half of Athens into the equally Republican 9th District of six-term incumbent Charlie Norwood.

The final plan was somewhat less ambitious, but shifted all of Athens into the 9th District. Rather than face certain defeat, Barrow moved to Savannah in the newly redrawn 12th, which is slightly less Democratic than its predecessor. The newly drawn 12th included several Republican-leaning Savannah suburbs that had previously been in the heavily Republican 1st District. Barrow faced Burns in the general election and won by only 864 votes - the narrowest margin of any Democratic incumbent nationwide. However, he trounced Burns in Chatham and Richmond counties - home to Savannah and Augusta (cities that largely lean Democratic), respectively - by a total of over 17,000 votes."

What you say is a "no-lose" proposition in the primary fails to account for the risk of losing the seat in the general election.

John McCain

Oops (0.00 / 0)
GA-12, not GA-21. Sorry I am.

John McCain

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but (4.00 / 1)
GA-12 is a D + 2 district in a Presidential cycle -- it's not like we're talking about Jim Marshall's GA-08, which is an R + 8 district. I don't get up in arms about guys like Marshall, Dan Boren, and Gene Taylor -- those districts are unwinnable for us generally if they aren't the nominees.

But GA-12 is something entirely different. There is a higher percentage of blacks in Barrow's GA-12 (44.5% !) than in David Scott's GA-13 (41%). With Barack at the top of the ticket and in this environment for Republicans nationally, Regina Thomas can win this district going away.

We shouldn't have to put up with an asshat like Barrow in a D + 2 district in this kind of electoral climate.

(I'm 98% of the time on your side of comments joe, but I disagree with you on this one).

[ Parent ]
Yeah (0.00 / 0)
It was why Ben Nelson was tolerable in a way that Joe Lieberman was not.

[ Parent ]
what worries me more (4.00 / 3)
is that Obama picked the former head of the Hamilton group to run his economic policy shop:


Also, Obama still hasn't fired the head of his own Iraq policy working group, Colin Kahl.

It's been more than two months since it emerged that Kahl authored a report calling for a US troop presence in Iraq of 60,000 to 80,000 troops at least through the end of 2010:


Another person in that working group recently stated that Kahl's proposal is not much different from Bush administration policy toward Iraq:


Why is Obama putting people like this in charge of his policy working groups?

Unfortunately, I think I know the answer.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

Why hasn't Obama fired Kahl (0.00 / 0)
Could be that Kahl's proposal is what Obama actually intends to do in Iraq.

[ Parent ]
Re: Furman (4.00 / 2)
Much of the reaction to hiring Furman seems to be based on bad information about the guy. Even Krugman defended his progressive credentials here.

Here are some other helpful links:




Of course, I don't mean to suggest that Obama is some ambitious populist. He has always struck me as a market-friendly liberal, but one who is genuinely concerned about equality of opportunity and the slanted distribution of benefits and burdens associated with current economic policy. That happens to align with my philosphy pretty closely, so I'm perfectly contect. And, frankly, I don't really think that any of Obama's primary opponents (except Kucinich and Gravel) really offered a dramatically different philosophy.

All that being said, my main point was to just note my frustration regarding the unfairn reaction to Furman.  

[ Parent ]
I take your point (0.00 / 0)
but I disagree--Edwards would have been a much stronger supporter of organized labor than we are likely to see from Obama.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Furman believes that Walmart is a progressive business model (0.00 / 0)
Walmart: A Progressive Success Story

Furman confuses neoliberal with progressive.

[ Parent ]
Ugh. (4.00 / 1)
You'd think he would have learned his lesson with Lieberman.

we haven't heard from Joe lately (0.00 / 0)
i wonder just what Obama did say to him in the corner?

"Hope you like this corner Joe, cause this is where I will stick you for the next four years if you don't shut up."

You gotta dream to have a dream come true.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
That is seriously annoying.... (0.00 / 0)
And does nobody else think this could actually hurt Obama's chances in Georgia?  

Here it comes: the move to the center....

What is particularly frustrating is that Obama's poll numbers are shooting up right now, suggesting that he wouldn't need to move to the middle in order to win.... nothing worse than gratuitous selling out...  

I really don't think he had to "move" there. (4.00 / 2)
I've always thought that there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between Obama and Hillary.  Unfortunately, youthful exuberance beat the most progressive candidate in the pack, John Edwards.  

[ Parent ]
I'm Black, and what I'm going to say might be cold (4.00 / 1)
But, if a Black man, can't raise enough money in a 70% African American primary population, with as many 'Blacks with money' in Georgia, then there's something wrong with him as a candidate.

I'm not clueless about Progressive Black candidates, and I'll be honest, this is the first I've ever heard of this guy.

You don't have the whole story here.

Sure, I'd love for him to win. .but...

[ Parent ]
I'm guessing (4.00 / 1)
Regina Thomas is a black woman, not a black man.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
Honestly (4.00 / 2)
Ms. Thomas appears to be a pretty generic Democratic State Senator -- we'll see if she has any real base of support in her district. She'd probably be a quiet back-bencher in Congress, but probably also a quiet worker on education spending bills, etc. -- she'd also be a hell of a lot better on almost every issue than Barrow.

In this D + 2 district with ~ 45% AA voters, in a Presidential cycle when black voter participation will almost certainly be at an all time high, this is the right time for her to run and press him -- she'd probably win the general, and, frankly, even if she loses then fools like Barrow throughout the rest of the caucus will have learned a lesson (maybe -- they ain't so bright as far as I can tell).

[ Parent ]
Indeed, let's punish heresy! (0.00 / 0)
It's worked out so well for the Republicans.

[ Parent ]
I did find this on the net (4.00 / 1)
Did some searching around and found this from Southern Political Report:

Incumbent John Barrow (D), who is white, is in a district in which 41% of the registered voters are black. In the Democratic Primary, a solid majority of the turnout is likely to be African-American. Thus, if African American state Sen. Regina Thomas (D), who is challenging Barrow in the primary, were able to win strong support among black voters, she would give Barrow a tough race. But while Thomas is strong in the Savannah area that she represents, Barrow has been able to get significant support from African-American politicos in Augusta, at the other end of the district, where the entire Democratic state legislative delegation -- a state senator and four state representatives, all of whom are African Americans -- have come out for Barrow. Thomas' financial report is not yet available, but as of March 31, Barrow had a whopping $1,311,000 on hand.
If Barrow wins renomination, he will be favored in the General Election, in spite of a close shave (an 864-vote margin) last year. Should challenger Thomas win the primary, however, a competitive November election would likely follow in this racially polarized district. The GOP has a three-way primary to choose its nominee. (Of interest: On her campaign website, Thomas, like the candidates for sheriff of old, wears a hat in her photographs. But unlike their fedoras and Stetsons, she sports stylish chapeaux.)

So it seems like local political turf wars might also be in play.

I also cited that link for another reason, as John Lewis is facing primary challengers who cite his support of Hillary Clinton as a reason to go against him.  Makes you wonder if Obama-mania can be rechanneled to support primary challenges against the most conservative Hillary supporters, doesn't it?

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
That is a bad reason to challenge someone .. (0.00 / 0)
meaning the Lewis challengers

[ Parent ]
It might just be a pretext (0.00 / 0)
I wouldn't be surprised if some Hillary supporters set up an effort to target conservative white males who backed Obama, though.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
Will whites vote for blacks, there? (4.00 / 1)
Before Obama won Iowa, many blacks assumed whites wouldn't vote for him.  Perhaps the same is going on here, that black Democrats assume an African American candidate can't win the district so purposefully go for a white conservative Democrat.

Or maybe it race isn't the perceived issue, but the need for a conservative is.

As others mentioned above, I have no problem with conservative Democrats in districts that could not elect someone more liberal.  When we say more and better Democrats, both sides, "more" and "better" are important.  It looks like better Democrats simply aren't an option in this district.

[ Parent ]
Probably just as well. (0.00 / 0)
We had 8 years for the right-wingers to fuck everything up. Now the DLC'ers get their chance to do the same. It's gonna be a much different world in 2016.

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

not sure you're right (4.00 / 1)
Barrow represents a Republican-leaning district and he was
only narrowly re-elected in 2006, despite the strong Democratic tide that year.  He may well be the only sort of Democrat who can win in that district.

In some districts progressive primary challengers should be defeated (0.00 / 0)
MD-4 and GA-12 are not the same.  Whoever won that MD-4 primary was going to win the general election, so it was a great idea to challenge Wynn, who was far more conservative than his district.

Barrow won re-election last time by less than 1000 votes in a year where no Democratic incumbent lost.  Does anyone real think that is a district which a progressive African American can win, much less hold onto in the long term.

What you are advocating here is giving the seat to the Republicans.  Thomas would lose, and instead of a conservative Democrat, we'd have a much much worse conservative Republican.

Note that race alone would probably make Thomas unviable.  Sanford Bishop in Georgia's 2nd district is the only Black representative in the south from a majority white district, and that's a safe district anyway because it includes the more racially liberal whites in southwest Georgia (where Carter's from).

I suppose if your primary purpose is punishing heresy, this is a wise course, but the basic fact is that this is a district whose congressman will either by a conservative Democrat or a right wing Republican.  Politics is the art of the possible.  Give this one a rest.

I'll just add (0.00 / 0)
That it's at least conceivable that a Black candidate would be competitive in this district.  It's got a higher percentage of African Americans than Sanford Bishop's district, and it's possibly that depressing conservative white candidates like Barrow depress the African American vote (although that won't be a problem this year).

So a good African American candidate, who was able to really rally the African American vote in the district, might stand a chance.  It's worth noting, though, that Sanford Bishop, the only Black representative in the south from a non-Black majority district, is very conservative on a lot of issues, so even he doesn't provide a very good model.

And when you look at those numbers from 2006, and it's really hard to see a more liberal, African American, candidate winning.

Barrow sucks, but he may be the best the district can do.  

[ Parent ]
I think you have unrealistic expectations in this (4.00 / 1)
There is an important fact here, and that this is a sitting Democratic house member. They hold the office. Where ever would anyone in a leadership position of a party try to undermine a fellow seat holding party member?

I think this is an unnatural way to assess Obama's centrist movements. Leaders and seat holding members very very rarely will back a primary challenger. Party members don't go around fragging each other at election time (Joe Lieberman being the exception to the rule). Further more, practically speaking, it is not good strategy for party leadership to cut down their own incumbents. Incumbents on average have a much better chance at retaining the seat for the party during the general election. I think its unrealistic to think that Obama or anyone else in a leadership role would step in to back a primary challenger.

Something that would tell you a clearer picture would be a case where there was a choice between multiple Dem challengers of near equal stature to a sitting GOP member.  

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

As Glennzilla pointed out today .. (2.00 / 2)
Barrow didn't even endorse Obama till after Obama won Georgia

[ Parent ]
Obama not that liberal (1.33 / 3)
Someone else might have said the same thing or something similar.

I'm surprised why people are so shocked by this. Obama is pretty much a centrist. At least he's not that liberal. Clinton was the more progressive of the two candidates, though she is pretty much a centrist herself as well.

Rightward drifts (4.00 / 1)
I really can't understand why people are surprised that he keeps moving to the right. it's where he's most comfortable after all.

I called Sen. Thomas's campaign (0.00 / 0)
and offered to shoot a couple of free videos if she's in the Atlanta area any time in the next couple weeks.  Sorry to say I don't have the gas to steam out to Savannah or Augusta to catch her there and do it.  But I won't charge a nickel.

"If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding..."
Zora Neale Hurston

Post partisanship (0.00 / 0)
. . . . . means nothing but compromise, unfortunately,  and some things should not be compromised.

As for what Hillary would do, she has been against telecom immunity from the beginning.  She is not nearly as against being partisan as Obama. I prefer partisanship to this mess.


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