Yesterday, Senator Mark Udall said he’d have no problem voting for Obamacare again. Today, we learn from an interview he had with Politico he’s looking forward to campaigning with President Obama:
But even though Gardner plans to tie Udall to Obama’s agenda on taxes, health care and gun control, the Democrat says he’s prepared to campaign alongside the president.
“I’m hoping that we get two or three of the following four people to come campaign: President Obama, Vice President Biden, former President Clinton and future President Clinton,” Udall said, referring to Bill and Hillary. [the Peak emphasis]
Whoa – that’s not what he told CNN in January, when he side-stepped the question of whether he would campaign with Obama four times.
Now, we know earlier this week Nancy Pelosi said that Obamacare was “a winner” for Democrats to run on in 2014, but given the track record the House Democrats have had for winning races these last few cycles, we can imagine few would actually take her campaign advice seriously.
More likely this just confirms rumblings we hear from people who are familiar with the inner-workings of the Udall campaign. Despite an all-out assault by them and the left echo-chamber on Cory Gardner since he’s entered the race, they have been unable to get anything to stick. The feeling is starting to set in over there that if this is a race to the middle, they will lose.
This best explains Udall’s actions over the past two days. Re-embracing Obamacare when it is hated by all but the Democratic base, saying now he is looking forward to campaigning with Obama when just over a month ago he couldn’t run away from Obama fast enough, could be a strategic change for the campaign. But, Udall may just be flailing under the mountain of negative press over the the past few weeks.
The unenviable job of painting Gardner – nowhere near an extremist – as an extremist will now fall to mostly surrogates as Udall himself focuses on firing up the base and getting them to turn out in large numbers this fall. And, from anyone on the outside, this was clearly their only play all along. Udall’s record of voting with Obama 99% of the time, along with his refusal to embrace more moderate proposals like the Keystone XL pipeline, made any attempt by Udall to moderate seem preposterous. Really, the only question is – why did it take so long for themselves to see this?
Perhaps between Steyer’s money and the fracking ban, the Democratic base will come out in large numbers this November. But in a deeply purple state like Colorado, it’s a risky bet. But, such is the race Udall is forced to run after six years of painting himself into this corner.