In addition to being boring and having underperformed in his own presidential campaigns, Dick Gephardt would not go over well with the netroots. Not only did he vote for the war, but he was instrumental in negotiating the specific resoluton authorizing force that actually passed. At the time, many Democrats who were unwilling to vote against the Iraq war wanted a resolution that had more strings attached — required more time for inspections, diplomacy, etc. Gephardt pulled the rug out from under them and delivered something closer to what the president wanted. David Corn wrote a piece at the time titled “Now, It’s Gephardt’s War.”
Though I suppose if Gephardt can help carry Missouri and reassure working-class whites, Obama might be willing to risk the netroots’ wrath. That’s the direction in which he’s been trending lately, anway.