It’s tough being Blanche Lincoln these days. Her approval ratings are in the tank, and she faces a bleak reelection landscape, assuming she defeats her primary challenger. By and large, she’s dealt with this reality by distancing herself from the Democratic party, in an at-times heavy handed fashion–so why is she now paying for an ad that boasts, “[w]hen Blanche Lincoln, our U.S. Senator, helped President Barack Obama pass health care reform, the tea party and insurance companies attacked her. But she didn’t back down”?
It’s because that ad is running on black radio.By contrast, here’s a television ad she ran a few weeks ago, targeted at a more diverse audience.
“I voted against giving more money to Wall Street, against the auto company bailout, against the public option health care plan, and against the cap and trade bill…some in my party didn’t like it very much, but…I don’t answer to my party. I answer to Arkansas.”
Now, it’s true that Lincoln voted for legislation that will dramatically overhaul the health care system. But that was only after months of hand wringing. And when it came time to vote on a crucial bill to amend and improve the broader health care package, Lincoln voted no.
A big part of politics is knowing your audience. But this will strike progressives and Obama’s supporters as a fairly cynical move. For his part, though, Obama has consistently and enthusiastically supported Lincoln and the White House has heaped praise on Lincoln for supporting its efforts on health care reform.
(H/T: Ari Berman)