May 9th, 2014
09:57 AM ET
6 months ago

Inside Politics Speed Read: Red state Democrats rethinking Obama?

Red state Democrats rethinking Obama? – For months, the political conventional wisdom has been that endangered Senate Democrats seeking re-election in red states would steer clear of President Obama and distance themselves from Obamacare.

Fueling this narrative were three instances of Democratic senators declining (or citing scheduling conflicts) to appear with President Obama when he visited their states. And in the case of Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu, she recently touted her ability to stand up to the president on oil and gas issues.

But there are three pieces of evidence this week that confound that strategy.

First, Sen. Mark Pryor, the Arkansas Democrat, invited Obama to view tornado damage with him in his home state.

Related: Disaster Politics – How Obama’s Arkansas visit could hurt Democrats

Then, the White House announced that Landrieu would appear with Michelle Obama for an event in with veterans in New Orleans on Saturday. Landrieu was unable to appear with the President when he visited Louisiana late in 2013.

Finally, Sen. Kay Hagan, the North Carolina Democrat, indicated support for expanding Medicaid as part of Obamacare in her state. Hagan voted for the health law but along with other conservative Democrats has put it on the backburner since. No more. In an interview with North Carolina-based McClatchy newspapers, she defended the Medicaid expansion, a key feature of the law that has been rejected by many states, including North Carolina. Hagan’s Republican opponent, Thom Tillis, was state House speaker when the Medicaid expansion there was rejected.

Don’t look for these Democrats to start sounding like Nancy Pelosi and Obama, but it is evidence that conventional wisdom can oversimplify things.

Politics roils Benghazi inquiry – Democrats are meeting Friday to decide whether they should take part in the new special select committee House Republicans authorized to investigate the Benghazi attack.

House Republicans, meanwhile, continue to deal with backlash after their campaign arm used the Benghazi effort in an online fundraiser. House Speaker John Boehner was asked to respond four times at a news conference Thursday, and he came back with repetitions of a talking point.

Koch brothers to spend $125 million on 2014 - Politico reports Friday that Charles and David Koch, the conservative billionaires who have spent millions to affect the political conversation, will double down on the midterm elections through their super-PAC Americans for Prosperity. The Politico report suggests that the Koch brothers, who have increasingly become a target of Democrats’ ire, have already spent $35 million on attacking vulnerable Democrats over Obamacare. That amount will apparently balloon to $125 million by year’s end, according to Politico.

Analysis: The biggest mistake Democrats could make on Benghazi

Solar panels at the White House – A bipartisan bill to promote energy efficiency at government and private buildings has stalled for now in the U.S. Senate, but President Obama is pushing forward with executive actions. And as part of the PR effort, the White House on Friday released new video of solar panels being installed at the White House.

Also on Friday, CNN’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy reports, Obama will announce a series of executive actions meant to bolster green-job creation and combat carbon pollution.

The President also plans to use a visit to California on Friday to reveal commitments from more than 300 private companies and public sector organizations to make the buildings they use more energy-efficient.A fact sheet outlining the details of the announcement brags that these new solar commitments "span every corner of the United States." They also include commitments from well-known companies like Clif Bar, Apple, IKEA and Whole Foods to increase solar usage.

The President will probably point to his host on Friday, Wal-Mart, as an example of a corporate leader on the issue of solar. The company has set a goal of producing or procuring 7 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy by 2020 and as part of that is committing to double the number of solar projects at its facilities.

Related: Obama to announce new slate of climate actions

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    President Obama still has it. Problem is most of the Democratic Party are female nether regions that are terrified of the GOP. In a way I admire the GOP. They don't shake and cower like the dems. There are only a few dems I admire. Número uno The POTUS, AG Holder, Hillary and Nancy Pelosi. The rest are so scared of the GOP it's a shame.

    May 9, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I heard a Republican remark this morning that Democrats boycotting a new Benghazi committee would politicize the tragedy. He said this right after not condemning the new Republican effort to fund raise off of the Benghazi attacks.

    May 9, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. loco motion

    More proof of just how concerned the gop is about the Americans killed they're. They don't talk about the Iraq war deaths, why not, because there is no political advantage there. They couldn't care less what happens to others, why else would you obsess about four deaths, which we had zero control over, yet ignore over 4500 killed in a war based on lies by our president.

    May 9, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Wilson wrote:

    One problem I had with Reagan was his removal of the solar panels from the white house that jimmy carter had installed.
    ---------------------------------
    He most certainly did remove them. Reagan also cut all spending on alternative, renewable forms of energy. Reagan committed the U.S. to fossil fuel dependence, and that has been Republican policy ever since. To fully appreciate the folly of Reagan's actions, you have to understand the geopolitical atmosphere of the times.

    The world had experienced several artificial oil embargoes during the 1970s. OPEC would simply reduce production until the prices were start rapidly rising. America experienced gas rationing. Depending upon the final digit of your license plate, you could only buy gas on even or odd numbered days of the month. Reagan wanted to make us vulnerable to that sort of extortion again, and he succeeded.

    May 9, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. don in albuquerque

    Wake Up People
    Could not agree, we need to collectively grow a pair. And we need to remember what Will Rogers said–"I'm not a member of any organized political party....I'm a democrat."

    May 9, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Dean

    Obama had been toxic since the day he took the oath of office.

    May 9, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. sonny chapman

    Are these the same solar panels that Jimmy Carter installed in 1978 & which Ronald Reagan tore down in 1980 ?

    May 9, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. Marie MD

    It would be nice since most red states receive a large sum of fed money to keep them afloat.
    I take it that heal are ain't so bad after all?

    May 9, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "House Republicans, meanwhile, continue to deal with backlash after their campaign arm used the Benghazi effort in an online fundraiser. "

    DUH! "You were supposed to keep the fundraising off Benghazi private!!!!" There's one really big, overriding reason that 206+ House GOPers/Teatrolls are climbing all over each other for one of the 7 GOP/Teatroll seats on the select committee. Wanna guess what that is? Go ahead...guess.

    Then watch the "war chests" of the 7 who get chosen. Matter of fact, check out Gowdy's over the past couple weeks and compare.

    May 9, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    A lot of red-meat GOPerville talking points in this article ... none of which interests me.

    BENGHAZI (The Sequel) 2016

    May 9, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    What??? You mean there's actual backlash because the GOP is fundraising off 4 dead Americans??? Where, when I haven't heard about it. All I keep hearing is Hillary and Obama Benghazi booga booga booga!!!

    May 9, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. much thunder...little rain

    pryor is a do nothing senator ....who road his dads coat tails....having obama see the damage of tornado ...thats what presidents do....pryor been there to long ....

    May 9, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Republican witch hunts are good fund raisers. It helps people forget that elected baggers shut down the government to the tune of $24 billion, that the baggers refused to vote for helping the uninsured, refused to help the poor, voted against women's rights, voted against veterans, voted against seniors, voted against sensible background checks, but voted for anything that the billionaires wanted. Fortunately for the GOP, their base is as bright as a burned out light bulb.

    But republican fundraising off the deaths of 4 Americans is even more disgusting than the crap they have pulled over the last five years.

    May 9, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Or perhaps I should have stated:

    BENGHAZI (The Fundraiser) 2016

    It is all one in the same.

    May 9, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. smith1

    republicans once again seek money off the backs of the dead in Benghazi these trolls are more worried about Hillary and keep trying to find a link to discredit her. She out polls all repos put together and they need to start now to screw up a possible run in 2016. Why can't the repo trolls see this? Not patriots but traitors riding on the backs of he dead. How many investigations do we need.? Just like the bill they keep trying to pass on the Affordable health care act. Vote them all out

    May 9, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    sonny chapman

    Are these the same solar panels that Jimmy Carter installed in 1978 & which Ronald Reagan tore down in 1980 ?
    --------------------------------
    Unsure of the dates off the top of my head, but, yes. Reagan also gutted Carter's Department of Energy, and declared it wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars. He said the solar panels were wasteful spending, despite the fact that the White House could almost fulfill all of its' electricity needs from them.

    May 9, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Andrew

    There is no honor among politicians.

    May 9, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "BENGHAZI (The Fundraiser) 2016"

    LOL! I like that one. You're on a roll today Ms. Lynda.

    May 9, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Lizzie

    Malory Archer
    smith

    So let me get this straight, you harp on Bush for serving in the Air National Guard during the Veitnam War but you give Bill Clinton a pass for not serving in the military because he protested the Veitnam War? Then you give Obama a pass for not serving in the military because the Veitnam War was over? Your statement is one of 100% hypocrisy and is beyond dumb.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yes, I DO give Bill Clinton "a pass" because unlike the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who DESERTED THE ANG after getting preferential treatment to GET THERE and all the while being gung-ho about sending EVERYONE ELSE there, at least Bill Clinton had the spleen to stand on principals. I know that's anathema to your ilk, but the majority of thinking human beings respect that.
    - wow,according to you JW Bush send everyone to Vietnam, but you have all the respect for Bill Clinton who went to Canada, VP BIDEN who ask for FIVE deferments, and you probably think Hanoi Jane is the best thing since the creation

    May 9, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Sniffitt's right Lynda... You are on a roll today my friend!!😍😍

    BENGHAZI ( The Fundraiser)

    Love IT!!!

    May 9, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Tommy G

    It should be an Obamacare amendment that Obama be required to appear with every Democrat that voted for Obamacare, as well as Pelosi and Reid. The American voters have a right to see, all on one stage, the people that are wrecking their healthcare system, driving their costs through the roof and getting their policies cancelled.

    Come Democrats, step up to the plate. As Pelosi says..."embrace the suck"!!

    May 9, 2014 11:42 am at 11:42 am |