White House official: Obama will be an asset to Democrats

Dan Pfeiffer

The White House is desperately trying to spin numerous reports and poll numbers showing that President Barack Obama will be a drag on Democrats in the 2014 mid-term elections. In fact, Dan Pfeiffer, a White House advisor, appeared on Meet the Press last weekend and did his best Baghdad Bob impression, declaring that President Obama would be an asset.

“There’s no question that it’s a tough map for Democrats. That’s what happens when you win a lot of elections like we did in 2008,” Pfeiffer told host David Gregory. “But the good news is we have a lot of good candidates and, most importantly, we’re on the right side of the issue that matters most to the public — jobs and the economy.”

Actually, that’s not true, if you consider job approval ratings to a measure of what is or isn’t the “right side.” President Obama’s job approval rating on the economy is underwater by 15 points (41/56), according to the recent WSJ/NBC poll.

“Here’s what the President is going to do. He’s going to lay out the terms of the debate in this election as a choice between Democrats who support an agenda of opportunity for all [and] Republicans [who] support an agenda of opportunity for a few,” he said. “And let’s not forget this President wrote the book on running and winning modern campaigns. So we’re going to take all of our resources and help Democrats up and down the ballots.”

“Right, but do they want your help?” Gregory asked. “Is the President more of a liability than he is an asset at this stage to Democrats?”

Pfeiffer tried to deflect, recycling already used talking points as well as noting that President Obama would raise money for Democratic incumbents. Still, Gregory pressed for an answer to his question, again asking, “Liability or asset?”

“The President will be an asset in every way possible to help these candidates,” Pfieffer finally answered.

It’s hard to be an asset to candidates from your party when polls show that any hint of support would be a factor in voters sending them packing. The same WSJ/NBC poll that found President Obama’s numbers in the cellar also found that 42% of Americans said that they’re less likely to vote for someone endorsed by him. Just 22% said that they’re more likely to vote for someone endorsed by President Obama.

Oh, and have we mentioned that several Democrats have declined to appear beside President Obama when he’s visited their states? If he were an asset, one would think they would be willing to be seen on the same stage, rather than completely avoiding him.

Outside of fundraising — which is very important, but not the end all be all — it’s hard to see how President Obama will be an asset to vulnerable Senate Democrats, especially those in traditionally red states, where his campaign apparatus was never strong. What’s more, President Obama is not in the same position he was on election day in 2012, and if anyone says otherwise, they’re just not living in reality.


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