After seeing a federal inmate receive 41% of the Democratic primary vote in West Virginia, the nation looks to Arkansas today for another potential embarrassing run for President Obama.
This time the not-Obama candidate is John Wolfe, a Tennesee lawyer.
Reports The Washington Post:
That’s because only Obama and John Wolfe, a Tennessee lawyer, are on the Democratic presidential primary ballot in the Razorback State. (Wolfe took 12 percent — and nearly 18,000 votes — in a four-way fight in the Louisiana Democratic presidential primary in late March.) And a recent independent poll showed Obama running just seven points ahead of Wolfe in the southern Arkansas 4th district, which covers one-quarter of the state.
All of this takes place on a backdrop that is decidedly less than friendly for Obama. Even while he was sweeping to a national victory (and 365 electoral votes) in 2008, Obama received just 39 percent in Arkansas — six points worse than Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry did four years earlier.
“Arkansas voters are informed voters and are fully aware that John Wolfe will not make it out of the primary,” said one well-connected Arkansas Democrat. “However, if John Wolfe has a strong showing tomorrow, it’s a sign that Democratic voters in Arkansas are frustrated with the administration’s policies and further reiteration that Southern Democrats simply cannot identify with President Obama.”
And, if the press coverage of Keith Judd’s surprisingly strong showing two weeks ago in West Virginia is any indication, you can expect Wolfe to draw significant attention in the immediate aftermath of today’s vote. [Peak emphasis]
West Virginia and Arkansas were never going to be winnable states for Obama in the general election, but it's still incredibly shocking that he could potentially lose a Democratic primary. Can you imagine if Bush almost lost to a federal inmate in 2004? The media would have lost its collective mind.
What's particularly interesting about the stiff challenges to Obama in West Virginia and Arkansas is they don't appear to have any serious campaign behind them at all. There are no Super PACs dropping millions, or coordinated Republican efforts at sabotaging Obama through backing his opponents. It is just good, old-fashioned disdain for Obama.
With top surrogates like Cory Booker trashing the Obama campaign's main message, and Democrat voters preferring convicts to the incumbent, that old Washington saying must ring especially true for Obama these days: if you want a friend in DC, get a dog.
Then again, for the sake of the dog, maybe Obama shouldn't.