You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

EDITORIAL: Nunn of the above: Red-state Democrats mask liberalism

Nunn, Grimes deny they would rubber-stamp Obama agenda

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Red-state Democrats understand their only hope of avoiding disaster in November is to keep as quiet as they can. When Michelle Nunn, who won the Democratic primary in Georgia for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, was asked whether she would have voted for Obamacare had she been a senator four years ago, she went to tedious pains to say she dared not say.

"It's impossible to look back retrospectively and say, 'What would you have done if you were there?'" she replied. Pressed twice more by a television interviewer for a simple yes-or-no answer, she continued to duck and dodge, running out the clock with talking points about the need to work "across the aisle" to fix Obamacare, the affordability of premiums, pre-existing conditions and children staying on parents' policies until age 26. She said everything except an answer to the simple question.

Under pressure from NBC's Kasie Hunt, who insisted on knowing whether the candidate thinks Obamacare should be repealed, Miss Nunn dared not give her Republican opponent a sound bite for later campaigning through unfriendly territory, where an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll finds that 57 percent of Georgians don't like the law. But she finally succumbed to pressure and answered the question: "I do not." Like all 60 of the Senate's Democrats in 2010, she obviously would have voted for the health care takeover.

Miss Nunn cruised to a primary victory on the strength of a famous name — she's the daughter of Sam Nunn, a former senator — that enabled her to skip several debates with her Democratic rivals and avoid taking positions on the issues she insists are important. She's so committed to remaining a political tabula rasa that she won't say whether she would vote to retain Harry Reid as Senate majority leader or even whether she thinks President Obama is doing a good job. "My name is on the ballot," she told Politico, the Capitol Hill daily. "The president is not on the ballot this time."

In Kentucky, another Democratic Senate candidate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, employs a similar strategy. In her bid to replace Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, Mrs. Grimes characterizes herself as an "independent thinker" and distances herself from a president who won just 38 percent of the state's vote the last time he was on the ballot.

"I am not an empty dress," she protested. "I am not a rubber stamp, and I am not a cheerleader." Mr. McConnell didn't let her get away with it. "Barack Obama's candidates preach independence," he said, "but they practice loyalty above all else ... Kentuckians will not be deceived. Alison Lundergan Grimes is Barack Obama's candidate."

Michelle Nunn and Alison Grimes learned from the master of camouflage. In his autobiography, "The Audacity of Hope," Mr. Obama described his vision of the empty suit. "I serve as a blank screen," he wrote, "on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." That's not the way to win in red states, but an empty platform is the best a Democrat can run on.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts