More Democrats Say They’re Skipping The Party’s National Convention
At least half a dozen Democratic officials have said in recent days that they won’t attend the Democratic National Convention this September in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the president will formally receive the party’s nomination for a second term. The latest: New York Democratic Reps. Bill Owens and Kathy Hochul, both of whom won special elections in recent years – in 2009 and 2011, respectively – that were heralded by party leaders.
“I guarantee that my time will be better spent meeting the farmers, small business owners and other people who put me here,” Hochul told The Daily today.
A spokesman for Owens gave a similar explanation.
“He just has a packed schedule back home,” he said.
This comes on the heels of Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz saying he’d opt out, and a trio of West Virginia Democrats — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall — all doing the same. Even though most of the convention-skippers have claimed they’d simply rather spend time back home, the political undertones are clear. After all, these Democrats share one thing in common: They answer to a conservative-leaning electorate that, at best, views Obama with a great deal of skepticism.
We always hear from the left/media about how “extreme” Republicans are. How they’re under the thumb of extremist tea party/corporate interests, etc., etc.
Well, how about someone pointing out that President Obama and the current Democrat leadership are so extreme the more moderate elements of his party don’t want to be seen with him at the party’s national convention?
This makes me wonder if we won’t see more defections from the party convention. I’m thinking of candidates like Heidi Heitkamp (Senate) and Pam Gulleson (House) here in North Dakota. Both have worked long and hard to distance themselves from their national party. Skipping the national convention, where their presence isn’t exactly required anyway, would be a high-profile way to put their supposed independence in bold.
Of course, it would all be a show for the voters, but winning elections at this point is more important for them than a show of party unity that would otherwise be unremarkable.Tags: Barack Obama, election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, pam gulleson