Tacky, Tacky: Throwing Creigh Deeds Under The Bus

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The throw-Creigh-Deeds-under-the-bus moment will be one of the more memorable from this off-year election. Last week, the Washington Post cited a White House official already distancing the president from the Virginia Democrat running for governor. Obama is in Virginia today, trying to drive up minority turnout in the Norfolk area. Polls, though, show Deeds is slipping and seems unlikely to win against his Republican rival, Bob McDonnell, who has portrayed himself as a moderate and seems to be doing a good job at it. Obama is not one to risk a lot for those pols in need. If he had gone to Minnesota to help Al Franken at the end of the 2008 campaign he probably would have avoided the runoff that Franken just barely won. Obama doesn't really appear on stage with other politicians generally. He throws out a few thank yous, but he's not a bear hugger with those in trouble. Maybe that's wise for him, but it's not the most generous tendency. That said, in Virginia, Obama's a mixed blessing, and he can't help as much as he can in New Jersey where the state is more Democratic and the Republican candidate is more hapless. Still, that quote in the Washington Post dissing Deeds was pretty awful and sends a message to 2010 candidates that the White House will help--but only so much.

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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