After a poll released this week showed President Barack Obama only beating his Democratic primary opponent John Wolfe Jr. by seven points, 45 percent to 38 percent, in Arkansas's Fourth Congressional District, state Democrats moved to practically disenfranchise Arkansas voters. "[D]elegates Wolfe might claim won't be recognized at the national convention," national party officials are telling state Democrats. Wolfe is being accused of not following the party rules.
“They want a coronation,” Wolfe tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “They’re conflating [Obama] with the party. Are we supposed to call him ‘Dear Leader’? Is this some kind of North Korea thing?”
Wolfe insists he’s done the due diligence to qualify for delegates and that the state party is making decisions ad hoc to get the results they desire. “This is ridiculous," he says. "These guys are trying to tamp down voter enthusiasm.”
If he's denied delegates he's rightfully won, Wolfe says, Democrats would be effectively disenfranchising those who chose him over President Obama. And if that happens, he’ll take his own party to court.
“They took my money and put my name on the ballot,” he says. “They’re trying to make people think it’s hopeless to vote against Obama.”
Wolfe is also on the ballot for Texas’s primary on May 29.
Wolfe suspects the effort to quell his presidential campaign may be coming from Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. During a recent encounter with Wasserman Schultz in Chattanooga, Wolfe says the two got into an argument about the rights for Tennessee farmers to sell their goods to Cuba. But Wolfe says he’s never heard from the national party or the Obama campaign.
Wolfe has been critical of Obama for being tied too closely with Wall Street interests and not pursuing a more forthrightly liberal agenda, like a single-payer health care system that Wolfe (and other Democrats, he says) prefer to Obamacare. And he criticizes the president’s style. “He doesn’t like to be challenged,” he says. “Strong people don’t mind dissent.”
A lawyer from Chattanooga, Wolfe speaks in a Southern drawl, and says Obama and national Democrats don’t want to acknowledge that there are members of the party like him.
“He says ‘Chil-ay’ and “Pah-kee-stahn’,” Wolfe says, emphasizing Obama’s pronunciations of Chile and Pakistan. “I say ‘Chil-ee’ and ‘Pack-a-stan.’ They like a person who talks like them.”