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Freshman Democrats who owe their seats in Congress to the Barack Obama poltical tsunami in 2008 now want to keep the President at arm’s length because they fear his increasing unpopularity and political missteps cold hurt them in the November midterm elections.
Many fear alignment with Obama could cost them the election and want to campaign without his endorsement or a presence in his district.
“I just think we don’t quite know yet where his popularity is,” Pennsylvania Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper told Congressional Quarterly in a recent interview.
Some have already told the White House they don’t want or need help from the President.
“It might upset some people,” says Virginia Democrat Tom Pirriello.
Obama’s eroding popularity is taking another hit from the administration’s lackluster response to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Some are calling the situation “Obama’s Katrina,” referring the the federal government’s failure to react quickly to the Hurricane Katrina crisis that became a benchmark of George W. Bush’s failed Presidency.