DCCC Chair: Democrats “need to be in their district” during the convention
Yesterday, I noted that several Democrats were opting to skip their party’s upcoming national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is little doubt that these Democrats are frustrated with their party and don’t want to be lumped in with President Barack Obama, who will be re-nominated at the convention. That’s understandable from a political perspective, and DCCC Chair Steve Israel apparently agrees:
The Democrat charged with trying to win back the House majority is telling his candidates that it’s OK to skip the party’s national convention.
Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told a gathering hosted by Reuters his advice has nothing to do with President Obama.
“If they want to win an election, they need to be in their district,” Israel said yesterday at the Reuters Washington Summit.
The New York lawmaker added: “I don’t care if the president was at 122% favorability right now. I think (candidates) should be in their district.”
That’s humorous. Four years ago, Democrats, many of whom were ecstatic over the coronation of Obama, couldn’t stay away from the DNC in Denver. After the shellacking Democrats received in 2010, suddenly Obama is toxic and, unless you’re in a relatively safe district, no one wants to be seen with him.
It’s not surprising given the circumstances, and to be honest it’s not all that uncommon; as Reason notes, Republicans received similar advice in 2008 when the were fearing an electoral meltdown. But we’ve constantly been told that the presidential race is going to be close, meaning that down ballot races in competitive districts should be as well. There is little doubt in my mind that things are going to come down to the wire in November between Obama and Romney, but it’s just curious that, here we are in June, and Democrats acting like Republicans in 2008.