Speed Reads

Playing politics

Senate Democrats want to avoid ISIS vote to improve their election chances

The Hill reports that several aides to Democratic senators have revealed their bosses' unwillingness to vote on war powers for President Obama to deal with ISIS in the run-up to the 2014 elections. Association with the president and his policy goals has become a liability in the eyes of many Democrats, and the vote could provide ammunition for the senators' Republican opponents.

"Asking anybody to take that vote within two months of an election is just stupid. Why would you put people in that position?" said a Senate Democratic aide. [...]

"I think it's dumb," said the second Democratic aide. "The less the president is in the news with anything right now, the better." [The Hill]

That Obama may be a dead weight for prospective candidates is a theme which has surfaced among Democrats repeatedly in recent days. Last week, Hillary Clinton's camp expressed concern that calling Clinton "Obama's third term" could be an effective attack against her 2016 ambitions. Several Democratic governors who may have presidential aspirations have publicly shifted away from Obama's immigration policy, and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan (N.C.) issued a statement strongly criticizing the president's VA policy in advance of his visit to her state.