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Obama Robocall: Lincoln 'on side of workers'

Here's another sign of how heavily invested the White House and Dem establishment are in helping Blanche Lincoln stave off challenger Bill Halter:

President Obama has cut a robocall for the incumbent, arguing that Dem primary voters should back Lincoln because she's "standing on the side of workers," even though her challenger is the one who enjoys the backing of major unions.

The Tolbert Report in Arkansas recorded the call:

On the call, which the Lincoln campaign confirms is legit, Obama calls on Dem primary voters to support Lincoln, arguing:

Blanche is leading the fight to hold Wall Street accountable. She's standing on the side of workers who lost their jobs in this recession by extending unemployment insurance payments. On health care, Blanche took on big insurance companies by voting to end discrimination against Arkansans with preexisting conditions.

This call illustrates the degree to which this race has put Obama in direct confrontation with the big unions, who are among his most powerful backers. After all, despite Obama's praise of Lincoln's health-care record, this is one key reason why labor is working so hard to defeat her. She voted against the reconciliation package and opposed the public option. (She did support the final bill, which did bar discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions.)

Lincoln, of course, also came out against the Employee Free Choice Act, labor's top priority.

And finally, Obama is declaring her to be on the side of workers, even though Lincoln has sought to paint Halter's labor backing as a negative, suggesting that his support from "Washington D.C. unions" is a sign that he's a tool of national liberal groups.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 17, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Health reform , Senate Dems  
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Next: Yes, Halter and Sestak are challengers from the left

Comments

I guess the question you should be asking is whether Obama actually needs to do this to maintain her vote in the senate or not. If he doesn't well then it's meddling in a primary. If he does, then this effort on his part (even if its against the unions) seems reasonable.

Posted by: calchala | May 17, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Though the case could be made by Halter that Obama is doing this because he can't trust Lincoln. That would certainly put the dems in an awkward spot.

Posted by: calchala | May 17, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Lincoln OUT! Shilling for big business and opposing EFCA is not acceptable from a democrat. No senator should get support from any democrat if they threaten to oppose their leadership on PROCEDURAL votes, period. I don't know why Lincoln should get a pass if she threatens to vote and votes with the opposition to oppose cloture. That is just stalling the work of the senate.

Posted by: srw3 | May 17, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Lincoln barely sides with workers compared with the GOP!

Come on, this is ridiculous. Pure politics on the part of the WH. Someone's holding their nose over there on this one.

NOT a proud moment for the WH. And I'll tell you this: if they keep this up the base is going to sit on their hands when the time comes to oppose the GOP. If I lived in AR, I'd be hard pressed to turn out in the general to vote for Lincoln. Yes, I know, the GOP is FAR worse, but in the long term you can't compromise for the sake of expediency.

This pisses me off.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 17, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

This just makes me wish even more for a strong turnout for Halter. This is really the part of elections I hate. On the side of workers, really?

Posted by: lmsinca | May 17, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Here's DDay's take on the run-off if Halter can swing it.

"That runoff would take place on June 8. Lincoln positions herself as in the sensible center, disliked by the left and right, but in a potential second-round matchup it would be just her and Halter, and her fealty to wealthy and corporate interests would be on full display in an election likely to feature low turnout."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 17, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't know to what extent labor unions are really a force in Arkansas elections -- with the possible exception of Democratic primaries. I could be wrong but I think of Arkansas as more of a farm state than a rust-belt state. Not to say there's no industry there but it seems to lack any major old-line industrial centers of the sort where labor unions have traditionally tended to be an entrenched political force.

Posted by: CalD | May 17, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This is Arkansas - where are the Clintons?

Posted by: sbj3 | May 17, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

OT, more hilariousness from the NRSC (email headed your way Greg):

"""First he went to Virginia to help out Creigh Deeds. Then he want to New Jersey to help out Jon Corzine. Then he went to Massachusetts to help out Martha Coakley. The result? Governors Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, and Senator Scott Brown.

Now, for the second time this year, President Obama is going to California to try and bail Barbara Boxer out of her failing campaign. Washington Democrats are doing everything it possibly can to save Arlen Specter from losing in the Pennsylvania primary, and ever since they got involved his numbers have gone down, not up."""

Aside from the glaring disingenuous nature of the email, what's up with THIS: "Washington Democrats are doing everything it possibly can"

[shudder]

Who blasts out an email with such horrible grammar? Or is it an intentional, cynical attempt to curry favor with low-info (aka not comfortable with English or facts) GOP voters? Either way, Yikes with a capital Yikes.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 17, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

haha. also: "Then he want to New Jersey"

Amateurs.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 17, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Not to say there's no industry there but it seems to lack any major old-line industrial centers of the sort where labor unions have traditionally tended to be an entrenched political force. - CalD

Wal-Mart and Tyson are the big guns here in the state, and they are *very* anti-union. Blanche's little mailout on her opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act was very nasty "Blanche saved 600,000 jobs by voting against those labor union bosses in DC".

Politics has been a full-contact sport here in Arkansas for a long time, but Blanche has really surprised me on this one - I never dreamed she'd allow as scummy a campaign as this has been.

As I told a fellow political junkie, "She talks like a Republican, she votes like a Republican - now she's slandering like a Republican".

Posted by: LittlePig | May 17, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but what's the point of robocalls?

Does anyone listen to them?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 17, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"Lincoln 'on side of workers'"

Well, technically speaking, CEOs and Wall St Masters of the Universe are "workers."

Posted by: wbgonne | May 17, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

With Barry's support, she's sure to loose.

Posted by: jemvbcarmagh06 | May 17, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I guess this would be true if you consider the Walmart board of directors to be the workers.

Maybe Obama is going for irony.

Posted by: Beeliever | May 17, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

All, new post:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/yes_halter_and_sestak_are_chal.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 17, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

At this point if Blanche won and then lost to a Republican who would care ? She's as bad as a frothing at the mouth Repub and I hope she's done. She can get one of those well paying jobs at Walmart.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | May 18, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

At this point if Blanche won and then lost to a Republican who would care ? She's as bad as a frothing at the mouth Repub and I hope she's done. She can get one of those well paying jobs at Walmart.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | May 18, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

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