Taking a cue from Mark Critz, freshman Democrats worried about reelection this year are not looking to Barack Obama for help, CQ Politics writes today. Erie's Kathy Dahlkemper is their number one example:
The House Democratic freshmen who rose to power riding candidate Barack Obama ’s coattails in 2008 are now eager to strut their independence heading into the midterms.
Some rookies opposed Obama’s cap-and-trade climate change bill; others rejected his health care plan. But even those members who backed all of the president’s signature initiatives are ready to show that they can win their first re-election bids without leaning on Obama’s star power.
“You have to be an independent, no matter what,” Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper said. The Pennsylvania Democrat pointed to her vote against the climate change bill, which she said is an economic loser for southwest Pennsylvania, and her fight for abortion funding restrictions in the health care bill as evidence of her independence.
Dahlkemper said that while she would be “very happy to welcome” Obama to her district, she didn’t know how much of a help or a hindrance he would be.
“I just think we don’t quite know yet where his popularity is,” she said. “The best thing I can do is get out and shake hands and look people in the eye. They want to see me and they want to know what I’m doing. ... I’m much less concerned about who’s going to come in and campaign for me.”