Updated: 5/5/2012- When a U.S. Senator and a sitting governor from your own party won’t say if they support the reelection bid of the incumbent president from their party, well, that’s a political party that is verging into Jimmy Carter territory. Then add in criticism from the publisher of one of the leading liberal websites, and an op-ed from a Democrat US Senate veteran, and decorated war hero, and you are way past Carter territory.
Party-wise that is.
Carter faced an insurgent bid from Hubert Humphrey progressives in his own party while vying for a second term as president. The result was a nasty primary contest that spilled into the Democrat National Convention in 1980.
And while the roles this time are reversed with incumbent Obama playing the part of insurgent progressive against the rest of us, the fissures in the Democrat party are still real enough, even absent a primary threat.
In fact, don’t expect the outcome to be much different than 1980.
Scores of Democrats running for reelection will defect from Obama before the campaign is done. And scores of Democrat voters will reject him too.
Why? The same reason voters will likely vote to kick Obama out of the White House: self-interest, if not outright self-defense.
Democrat Governor Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia has announced that he isn’t sure that he will be supporting Barack Obama for reelection.
“Tomblin said in statement released by his campaign that he was a ‘loyal member of the Democratic Party’ but was concerned by fellow Democrat Obama's ‘misguided policies,” reports the Charleston Daily Mail.
This wasn’t an off the cuff remark, or a canned press release supporting National Candlemakers’ Day. Campaigns put a great deal of thought into even routine statements. They layer nuance on nuance until they get it right.
And when they say “misguided policies,” they are just being polite.
West Virginia’s newest Democrat Senator, Joe Manchin has been a little more direct about his distaste for Obama.