October 17th, 2010
04:01 PM ET
12 years ago

White House Dispatch: President hands off to first lady

COLUMBUS, Ohio 3:52 p.m. - Not to be a Monday morning quarterback, but White House officials may have fumbled when they picked the campus of Ohio State University for President Obama's attempt to fire up local Democrats at a campaign rally Sunday night.

After all, there are a lot of long faces on this campus after the Ohio State Buckeyes football team was knocked out of its top spot in the nation in a crushing road loss, 31-18, to the Wisconsin Badgers, and folks here may not be in such a great mood.

But Obama is hoping to shake this campus out of its slumber by handing off to his money player in this crucial midterm election, first lady Michelle Obama, who is stumping together with her husband for the first time since the 2008 election.

Mrs. Obama started campaigning solo this past week for House and Senate candidates in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Colorado plus she has several more stops planned in the final two weeks of the election.

But the White House saved linking the Obamas together for this crucial state, which is a microcosm for the rest of the country: the President carried it over Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, two years ago, but the Buckeye State is now trending hard for Republicans.

The first stop for the president and first lady is Cleveland, where they are headlining a fundraiser that will benefit incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland, who is facing a stiff challenge from Republican John Kasich.

Then it is on here to Columbus for some more fundraising and the rally, which is aimed at boosting Strickland, as well as Democratic Senate candidate Lee Fisher, who is trailing Republican Rob Portman by double digits.

The bottom line is that the president is playing defense here and all across the country, including Saturday's visit to Massachusetts to help buck up Gov. Deval Patrick in a state Democrats should have locked down long ago.

The same scenario plays out starting Wednesday, when the president heads West for a major four-day campaign swing mostly targeted at saving Democratic incumbents, including Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Patty Murray (Wash.), and Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.).

This late in the game, Democrats would be much better off if the President's precious time was spent in swing states trying to pick off Republican incumbents to help land his party some gains.

Instead both Obamas are largely stuck on their own turf playing defense instead of on offense scoring points. Sounds a lot like Ohio State's rough Saturday night in Wisconsin.

Filed under: 2010 • Michelle Obama • Ohio • President Obama • White House Dispatch
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Joan Adams

    I had the honor of going to Boston with The Demacratic office here in Beverly. Ma to see the Presadent and wish all the Demacratic people good luch in gettent votted in.

    October 17, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Bush already done Ohio in Mr. President, in fact he put them in the soup lines as he and his rich cronies got richer. I know President Obama can help Ohio, but Ohio has to be willing to face the truth about the Republicans before they can be helped.

    October 17, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. barry

    He is wasting his time in Ohio. Those folks have suffered greatly under his Presidency. As for the college kids history has been made already it doesn't have the same allure anymore. They are back to the video games.

    October 17, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. Carole

    Every good First Lady will rate a more popular rating than the President. President Obama has a difficult job considering the faltering economy. Mrs. Obama gets to travel and smile,no heavy decision making in her role makes her more popular. Governing a country like ours is no easy task,few men are up to the task.Barack is trying,give him more time.

    October 17, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. German,IrishAmerican

    By all means, keep the whacko Obama Democrats in power, otherwise poor Michelle won't be proud of her country anymore.

    October 17, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  6. Kenneth Close

    So Abbott throws another straight line at Costello?

    October 17, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |