With Barack Obama's job approval well below water these days, perhaps it's no surprise that Democratic candidates for Congress this year aren't jumping at the chance to have the president come campaign for them. Dave Weigel at Slate points out how remarkable it was last week when Democratic senator Mark Udall of Colorado declined to appear with Obama, despite the fact that the president won Colorado twice. "Members of the White House political team will grit their teeth and ask low-level campaign staffers if, you know, it would be OK for the commander-in-chief to show up," Weigel writes. "They will be told to call back in a few days. Often, they will be told, 'No thanks, but send money.'"
Now comes the news that even in Northern Virginia, the liberal region outside of Washington that's transformed the Old Dominion into a blue state, Democrats are shying away from Obama. The president appeared in McLean in Fairfax County (60 percent support for Obama in 2008 and 2012) on Tuesday to call for action on extending the federal Highway Trust Fund. But where was the Democrat running for McLean's open House seat? John Foust is a member of the Fairfax County board of supervisors and lives in McLean, but the Democrat and House hopeful was "noticeably absent" from the Obama transportation event. One Virginia-based blogger has more:
Noticeably absent was John Foust, Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 10th District where McLean is located. This despite sitting on numerous transportation boards as a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and voicing strong support for just about every policy Obama has put forth.
So why would Obama’s would-be rubberstamp avoid a choice photo opportunity?
Perhaps, the blogger suggests, Foust was avoiding any embarrassment over the news Foust's wife, an OB-GYN, doesn't accept Medicaid at her practice. The Washington Free Beacon first reported this, noting that Foust himself frequently criticizes his Republican opponent, state delegate Barbara Comstock, for opposing the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
Foust and Comstock are both vying for the seat currently held by retiring Republican Frank Wolf, a longtime congressman for whom Comstock once worked.