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Duck and Cover

Some Democrats take a different tack on health care.

11:19 AM, Apr 6, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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After signing the national health care bill, Barack Obama said he welcomed a campaign fight over the law. "Bring it on," he dared Republicans. He toured the country to boost the law's popularity. And on April 3, a Rasmussen poll showed that voters trusted Republicans more than Democrats on health care by a 16-point margin (53% to 37%)--a significant shift from just one month earlier when that number was essentially tied.

Duck and Cover

It looks like Obama's rambling 17-minute answer to a question about why we should be paying more taxes for Obamacare didn't do much to reassure voters about a bill they've consistently opposed for nearly a year. Other congressmen, like Paul Hodes of New Hampshire, have had a similarly difficult time directly selling the health care bill to their constituents. So, Politico reports, some Democrats, like Congressman John Boccieri of Ohio, have taken a different approach: hiding from their constituents.

Boccieri is not alone. He’s one of a number of House Democrats who’ve kept a low profile over the recess, a group largely defined by the level of political jeopardy they face this fall.

Like Boccieri, they tend to represent highly competitive seats. One of them, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), has not held any events in Republican-oriented North Dakota to talk about health care, his staff acknowledged. This week, he’ll talk about Social Security.

The offices of other endangered members, ranging from veterans such as Reps. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) and Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) to junior members such as Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) and John Salazar (D-Colo.), did not return messages asking about how they had promoted health care last week.

"Duck and cover" just might be a better motto for the Democrats than "bring it on."

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