Are the Democrats distancing themselves from their party? From their leader, President Obama?
Those are two questions I’m frequently asked when I appear on national television, often defending or explaining the actions of those of us on the left, a.k.a. “The Democrats.”
When the RNC released a 50-second Web ad casting Democratic candidates in the role of Steven Slater, who pulled the emergency exit lever on a flight arriving in New York and slid down the inflatable chute after announcing he had quit his job, I had to laugh. But maybe I should have cried.
Although mudslinging is winning votes for candidates on both sides of the aisle, it’s pretty sad that conservatives use a man who broke the law, put others lives in jeopardy, and let’s face it, quit a job in an economy with nearly a 10 percent unemployment rate!!
Although the ad would lead you to believe that’s what is taking place with the Democrats, it isn’t. There have always been Blue Dog Dems who don’t like that big “D” next to their names due to the right lean within their constituency. And with the president’s poll numbers down, some might feel he causes them more harm than help on the campaign trail to the November election. But I have a surprise for you--this is nothing new, and it’s also happening on the right. Rep. Jack Kingston, a Republican from Georgia, begged Sarah Palin to get out of the endorsement business after her conservative candidate for governor there lost. And Palin’s poll numbers are high. (Especially for a woman who quit being governor, lost at being the vice president, and isn’t sure if she’s going to run in 2012!)
The bottom line is, during the Bush administration there were Republicans distancing themselves from him as his poll numbers dropped; the same during the Clinton administration. Politicians befriend--and have pictured next to them smiling and waving--the person, politician, or president that’s going to help them get or keep their job. It’s nothing new. Obama’s not ruining or dividing the party, the Democrats aren’t leaving their party and they’re certainly not jumping off a jet.
Oh, and if my history serves me correctly, despite those low poll numbers and those in their party distancing themselves from Mr. President, both Bush and Clinton won their re-election campaigns!