In a Season of 'Thanks, But No Thanks,' President Obama Welcomed by Michigan Democrats
Michigan Democrats are not shying away from President Obama. He will be in suburban Detroit on Nov. 1, preaching to the choir as he campaigns for the state’s Democratic Party ticket.
Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who is poised for a landslide win over Republican Terri Lynn Land for U.S. Senate, and former congressman Mark Schauer, locked in a surprisingly tight race with GOP Gov. Rick Snyder, are scheduled to join Obama at the rally.
Obama’s visit to Michigan follows campaign rallies for Michigan Democrats featuring first lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton, and former President Bill Clinton.
Michigan Republicans called that grandstanding of the worst kind.
Bobby Schostak, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, said Democrats crafted a plan to bring in national headliners each week for the final month of their campaigns, reaffirming the two candidates couldn’t do it alone.
“Gary Peters and Mark Schauer are clearly more focused on cameras than people. Instead of getting into the community where our families and businesses are, Peters and Schauer would rather stand on stage with Washington politicians who want to paint our state with their one-size-fits-all policy brush,” Schostak said in a statement.
“These aren’t the kind of leaders who acknowledge the progress that’s underway in the Comeback State today, and they certainly won’t continue the trend forward. The bigger the names Democrats bring in, the more we’re reminded how small Gary Peters and Mark Schauer really are,” he added.
It is understandable that Michigan Democrats would want Hillary and Bill by their sides, and even Michelle Obama’s popularity is running high. But President Obama?
Many Democrats running for political office across the nation are putting as much distance as possible between themselves and Obama.
However, Obama told the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC he is confident Democratic candidates do support him.
“These are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress,” said Obama.
Republicans jumped on Obama’s assertion that a vote for a Democrat on Tuesday would be as good as a vote for his administration’s policies and are using that in attack ads against Democrats.
Obama’s job approval ratings across the U.S. are dismal. The Real Clear Politics average of polling shows 54.6 percent of voters disapprove of his performance in office, while 41.2 percent approve.
However, Obama does much better in Michigan. The Real Clear Politics average showed 45.8 percent of voters in that state approved of his job performance, while 49.5 percent disapproved.
Some polls, including the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports survey in October, showed Obama’s approval-disapproval ratings in Michigan were even better than that, tied at 49 percent.
Lon Johnson, the chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, said in a statement the mood is different in his state.
"We are honored to have President Obama come to Michigan and highlight just how much is at stake this November,” Johnson said in a statement.
Still, the Obama and Clinton rallies in Michigan are more about preaching to the choir than proselytizing for new converts.
Schauer and Johnson told a small audience of Democrats in Grand Rapids, Mich. in September that Democrats would win in 2014 if they could only convince the hundreds of thousands of Democratic faithful who stayed home in 2010 to vote Nov. 4.