Heidi Heitkamp: Just Because I’d Vote For Obama And Reid Doesn’t Mean I Like Their Policies


Heidi Heitkamp has spent most of this election cycle trying to distance herself from her national party and its most visible members like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama. Heitkamp’s ads have steered clear of any mention of the fact that she’s a Democrat. Heitkamp bailed on attending her party’s national convention.

Now, despite saying on the record that she’d vote for Barack Obama as President and Harry Reid to remain majority leader, she wants North Dakotans to believe that she doesn’t share their views.

“I don’t speak for Harry Reid and Harry Reid doesn’t speak for me,” Heitkamp told the Associated Press.

The thing is, Reid in particular has worked hard to help Heitkamp get elected. His Searchlight Leadership Fund has funneled $10,000 into Heitkamp’s Senate campaign so far this election cycle, and Reid’s super PAC has spent almost $600,000 on advertising in the race supporting Heitkamp’s candidacy and attacking her opponent Rick Berg.

So here’s the question: If Harry Reid doesn’t represent Heidi Heitkamp’s values and opinions, then why is Harry Reid spending so much money to put Heitkamp in the Senate?

It would be counterproductive for Reid to put someone in the Senate who is going to work against him. The truth is that, when the rubber hit the road, Reid knows that Heitkamp would be a reliable vote for his agenda. Just as, when most North Dakotans were opposing Obamacare, Heitkamp’s fellow North Dakota Democrats Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan and Earl Pomeroy ignored their constituents and voted the way their party leadership wanted them to.

Besides, even if Heitkamp might be counted on to vote against parts of Reid’s far-left agenda (and I suspect that her party’s leadership would only afford her that sort of latitude when they don’t need her vote), she’s still a vote for Reid continuing to set the policy agenda for the Senate.

Heitkamp’s claims of independence of Reid might hold some water if she gave Reid’s contributions back, and repudiated the advertising he’s done on her behalf, but don’t hold your breath. Heidi’s attempts to distance herself from Reid, Obama and her national party are just words.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Lianne

    Rob, I beg to differ with you. Her attempt to distance herself is not ‘just words’. Words have meanings. Her words, in this case, are empty, hollow, meaningless words.
    Is she feeling in danger of losing? Is that what she is getting from around the state? Is that why she threw that statement out there?

  • HeitkampObamaReid

    Rob, look at the front of the Herald. Harry Reid’s best friend Heidi Heitkamp is trying to pull an actual personal testimonial ad.

  • DakotaStrong

    I think the news media should ask Heidi if Reid’s influence on her campaign would cause her to react differently down the road.

  • Emil Kashuntz

    Is Mitt going to support Paul Ryan’s attempts to gut medicare and destroy social security? What a silly game to play. Heitkamp is certainly not going to support the subsidies for the rich Berg does. So what is the problem?

    • Lianne

      Again with the ‘play’ on words, Joel. Heidi is a puppy for Reid and Obama. That is not what this country needs.

    • Emil/Hanni/Joel Is An Idiot!

      Nice comedy bit!

    • yy4u2

      People like you thinking there isn’t a problem…with your party. We conservatives know our party has too many RINOs and are working on weeding them out.

  • VocalYokel

    A new campaign slogan for Heidi…

    “I’m a Democrat, but I’m not like all the others…”

  • Radniecki

    Someone in the ND media with access to Heidi should ask her why she would not vote for the repeal of Obamacare (if elected to the Senate) when the majority of the North Dakotan’s are in favor of repeal. She’s on record as saying she wouldn’t vote for the repeal of Obamacare. She should be asked that if on this issue is representing ND, or Harry Reid?

  • Rick Olson

    Exactly. If North Dakotans foolishly choose Heidi Heitkamp over Rick Berg in the Senate race, I won’t like it very much, but I will accept it. Here’s what will happen. The moment that Heidi raises her right hand in the well of the Senate on the day she is sworn in and says “I do,” she will immediately be expected to toe her party’s line and immediately fall in line with Harry Reid’s leadership.