Barack Obama is no doubt heartened that his fellow Nobel laureate Paul Krugman recently declared him to be “one of the most successful Presidents in American history.”
Too bad for Obama that Krugman isn’t running in November. These days most Democrats would not place the words Obama and successful in the same sentence. Come to think of it, most Democrats dare not mention Obama’s name. Yet Krugman doesn’t seem too concerned:
Yes, Obama has a low approval rating compared with earlier presidents. But there are a number of reasons to believe that presidential approval doesn’t mean the same thing that it used to: There is much more party-sorting (in which Republicans never, ever have a good word for a Democratic president, and vice versa), the public is negative on politicians in general, and so on. Obviously the midterm election hasn’t happened yet, but in a year when Republicans have a huge structural advantage — Democrats are defending a disproportionate number of Senate seats in deep-red states — most analyses suggest that control of the Senate is in doubt, with Democrats doing considerably better than they were supposed to. This isn’t what you’d expect to see if a failing president were dragging his party down.
Well, if President Obama isn’t dragging his party down then how does one explain the behavior of Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Secretary of State and the Democrat challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell?
During an interview with the editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal last week, Grimesrefused to say if she voted for Barack Obama in either 2008 or 2012. Grimes began by saying, “You know this election isn’t about the President. It’s about making sure we put Kentuckians back to work.” Tell that to President Obama who last week said his policies were on the ballot – “every single one of them.”
Needless to say, Grimes’ answer proved insufficient for the editorial board. When given another chance to answer the question, she further distanced herself from Obama by wrapping herself in the Clinton flag noting that she was a Hillary Clinton delegate during the 2008 Democratic National Convention and “a Clinton Democrat through and through.” As if that weren’t enough, Grimes went on to say, “I respect the sanctity of the ballot box and I know that the members of this editorial board do as well.” In a one on one debate with McConnell on Monday night, Grimes again wrapped herself in the “sanctity of the ballot box” argument as well as invoking both the U.S. Constitution and our armed forces to dodge admitting that she voted for Obama. Grimes declared:
This is a matter of principle. Our constitution grants, here in Kentucky, the constitutional right for privacy of the ballot box, for a secret ballot. I am not going to compromise a constitutional right provided here in Kentucky in order to curry favor on one or other side, or for members of the media, I’ll protect that right for every Kentuckian.
Who is she trying to kid? If Grimes hadn’t voted for Obama she would have boasted about this from one end of the Bluegrass State to the other demonstrating her “independence” from Obama. Her campaign bus would have had a banner reading, “I DIDN’T VOTE FOR OBAMA!!!”
Of course, I understand the embarrassment and shame that Grimes must feel in having voted for Obama not once, but twice. President Obama has become synonymous with incompetence and mediocrity and who wants to be associated with incompetence and mediocrity when running for office?
Now it is certainly true that Grimes does have a right not to tell voters for whom she has cast a ballot. But Grimes is an elected official affiliated with the Democratic Party and her father Jerry was both a state representative and chairman of Kentucky’s Democratic Party. Does Grimes really expect people to believe she’s never publicly endorsed another fellow Democrat for statewide or federal office and then voted for them? Indeed, if we are in age of partisanship (or “party-sorting” as Krugman puts it), then it is reasonable to infer that Grimes and probably 95 percent of Democratic Party elected officials across the country voted for Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012. I think most Kentuckians can reasonably conclude that a lifelong Democrat like Grimes voted for Obama in both elections. But Obama represents such an albatross around her neck she is trying to hide in plain sight. For her troubles, Grimes is like a giraffe trying to camouflage herself among a bunch of donkeys.
So it wouldn’t surprise me if Grimes saw to it that her ballots for Obama are probably buried deep somewhere in a Kentucky coal mine. By refusing to admit she voted for Obama all Grimes does is draw unnecessary and unwanted attention to herself. It also speaks volumes about her character and candor or lack thereof. Grimes is apparently willing to go to her grave without ever disclosing who she voted for in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. This lack of disclosure will very likely be the nail in the coffin of her flailing Senate campaign and send Grimes’ political career to an early grave. All things considered, these are the kind of friends President Obama deserves.
Well, I guess Obama can always count on Paul Krugman.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.