A Democratic Senate candidate from Missouri has argued that politicians in Washington ought to "take on their party bosses," even as he raises money in Las Vegas with the leader of his party in the Senate, Nevada's Harry Reid.
Jason Kander, a 34-year-old rising Democratic star and Missouri's secretary of state, is hoping to take on Republican incumbent Roy Blunt next year. Blunt, a former House majority leader, currently holds a position in Senate Republican leadership, a fact Kander recently used to demonstrate how the first-term senator is out of touch with Missourians.
"We don't send senators to Washington so they can climb the leadership ladder of their political party as fast as possible," Kander said at a February meeting of the Boone County Democratic party. "We send them there to take on their party bosses when they need to. We deserve an independent-minded senator who stands up for Missouri every minute of every day." Watch the video below:
It's a theme Kander has repeated on the stump, saying nearly the same thing about "taking on party bosses" at a Democratic party event last Saturday in Kansas City.
But earlier that week, as National Journal reports, Kander attended a fundraiser in Las Vegas hosted by Reid, the Senate minority leader and the most powerful Democrat in Congress. Republicans pounced on the news story.
"Democrat Jason Kander told Missourians he would stand up to his party bosses and then he snuck out to Las Vegas to meet with Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid on his home turf," said NRSC spokesman Jahan Wilcox in an email. “After secretly appearing with the Democrat Leader in Las Vegas, it’s clear Democrat Jason Kander can’t be trusted to fight for Missouri families.”
Shortly after Kander entered the race, a poll found Blunt leading the Democrat by 13 points, 49 percent to 36 percent. Kander, who is considered the favorite to win his party's nomination, is a former Army captain and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
President Obama knocked "constant fundraising" in his State of the Union address delivered tonight from Washington:
I’ve served in Congress with many of you. I know many of you well. There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle. And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for – arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision.
Imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. Imagine if we did something different.
President Obama is scheduled to address the nation this evening to discuss destroying the terrorist army of ISIS. But before hitting the airwaves, he's asking Democratic donors to "chip in $10 or more right now to help elect Democrats."
He made the ask in an email to supporters of the Democratic party.
"There are just 55 days left in this election, Daniel," writes Obama in the email.
In a few minutes, President Obama will address the nation about the beheading of an American by the terrorist group ISIS. But before facing the cameras, Obama sent out a fundraising appeal.
"Nothing has ever been more important than fighting for folks like you. You are my priority," writes Obama.
"And right now, a focus of that fight has to be getting people who really care about making things better for you elected. The upcoming elections could determine whether or not we have a Congress who will work with me to help you.
How does a Democratic Senate candidate running in a conservative state in 2014 try to win? There are many strategies, from Louisiana’s incumbent senator Mary Landrieu emphasizing her ties to the energy industry to Michelle Nunn of Georgia running as a business-friendly moderate willing to work with Republicans. Behind the various strategies is an underlying principle: These Democrats should distance themselves as far as possible from their unpopular party and its head, the increasingly unpopular Barack Obama.
Karen Handel, the former secretary of state of Georgia, has raised $200,000 in the past two weeks for her campaign for Senate, according to a spokesman. The cash-strapped Republican, who is facing better financed primary opponents, has raised more in that time than she had in the previous quarter.
Republican congressman Tom Cotton, a candidate for U.S. Senate, raised more money in the last quarter of 2013 than his Democratic opponent, incumbent Mark Pryor. The Hill reports that Cotton, a first-term House member, raised $1.2 million dollars at the end of last year, compared to Pryor's $1.1 million.
At a stop in San Francisco on a three-day fund raising swing along the West Coast, President Obama said during a speech that "sometimes people forget I'm not running for office again." The president was talking about Republicans in Congress and the immigration reform that he is trying to get through the House: