As the Obama Secret Service Bus Tour begins today to plow through conservative southern Virginia, Democrats are scurrying to get out of the way.
The biggest no-show: Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine – handpicked for the position by President Obama – who is running for the Senate.
Kaine’s campaign claims he has previously scheduled commitments and just can’t make it.
OMG IF YOU ARE GOING TO INSULT OUR INTELLIGENCE PLEASE AT LEAST BE ORIGINAL ABOUT IT.
I mean, really.
According to Virginia Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins, neither of the state’s Democratic senators – Jim Webb or Mark Warner, will be seen with Obama either.
Democrats in Virginia, which holds statewide elections this year, are desperately seeking to fend off the 2011 wave of GOP’s 2010 tide, hoping to hold their slim majority in the Virginia Senate.
White House officials reportedly changed Obama’s scheduled itinerary, and Mullins told the Associated Press they did it to avoid districts where Democrats are in tight races.
According to the AP, Democrats are keeping their rhetorical distance too:
Virginia’s House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong has distanced himself from Obama in a struggle to retain his seat against a Republican incumbent in southwest Virginia that he’s facing because of redistricting.
Last month, Democratic state Sen. Phil Puckett renounced Obama after his Republican challenger began discrediting him as “Obama’s man in southwest Virginia” and tying him to Obama’s energy policies which are reviled in coal-mining regions like Puckett’s district. Puckett said in a television interview he would not support Obama in 2012.
The president won in Virginia, my home state, in 2008 and is hoping to do so again in 2012. So he’s campaigning here and in North Carolina, another state he seized from Republicans and eagerly wants to keep. But the tea leaves I’m reading say Virginia, at least, is more likely to revert to form in 2012 and vote for the Republican presidential candidate.
Obama was on track to cross the state line from North Carolina into Virginia early this afternoon. He’ll appear at a high school in Emporia today and Wednesday at a military base in Hampton and a firehouse in suburban Richmond, where he’s sure to accuse Republicans of opposing firemen.
Then, with the bus perhaps out of gas, he’ll FLY back to Washington.