Heidi Heitkamp’s Local Campaign Narrative Doesn’t Match Her National Narrative

heidiheitkamp

Liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp was on the Ed Schultz Show last night on MSNBC so that they could run through her campaign’s latest talking points.  But something was interesting about the tone of the interview.  According to Schultz, Heitkamp has been “helped” by President Obama’s policies. He even suggested that a Republican ad juxtaposing Heitkamp and Obama was actually helping her out (a suggestion that leaves Heitkamp a little flustered in the video after he mentions it).  And yet, during the recent debate between Heitkamp and Republican Rick Berg (a debate from which Schultz shared footage) Heitkamp ran about as far from President Obama as she could.

Here’s the MSNBC video:

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If you listen to the full debate audio (available here) you’ll hear Heitkamp say (when she’s not doing her best Sarah Palin impression) that when she looks in the mirror in the morning she doesn’t see a “tall, African American skinny man.”  

Her intent with that awkward phrasing was to suggest that she’s not Barack Obama.

Yet Schultz claims Heitkamp is succeeding in North Dakota because she’s allied herself with Obama.  That might be a nice narrative for an MSNBC broadcast, but the reality on the ground here in North Dakota is that Heitkamp is performing well thanks to her success in running away from President Obama and telling the media she styles herself as an “independent” rather than a Democrat.

Of course, when you’re appearing on a liberal cable network appealing to a national liberal audience in the hope that they’ll pour national liberal money into your campaign coffers a candidate like Heitkamp can’t just admit she’s been spending the entire election season trying to depend like she’s not a Democrat.

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. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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