Liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign has been working hard to cast her not as a Democrat but an independent. Heitkamp told a magazine that she “fancied herself an independent rather a Democrat.” She said in a recent interview that the national Democrat party platform doesn’t represent what she believes in. Heitkamp has pushed this so hard that the North Dakota Republican Party, tongue firmly in cheek, offered to make her a member.
Heitkamp’s colleague, liberal House candidate Pam Gulleson, has also taken the “independent” tact, most notably in her most recent ad entitled “Independence” in which Gulleson endorses a host of issues her national party dislikes and at the end describes herself as an “independent leader” for North Dakota.
You really have to wonder, given how hard these candidates are working this angle, if they aren’t doing more harm than good. It has to be dispiriting to North Dakota leaders to see their top-of-the-ticket candidates have to campaign like right-of-center Republicans to get traction, and how many North Dakotans really buy that Heitkamp and GUlleson will be “independent” under the leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi?
Reid, specifically, has funneled millions into supporting Heitkamp’s campaign both through direct campaign contributions and independent spending on advertising attacking her opponent Rick Berg. Does anyone think he’s doing that so Heitkamp can go to Washington and be an “independent”?