Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some Democrats missing when Obama toured N.C.

During his swing through North Carolina last week, President Obama managed to draw enthusiastic crowds in Asheville, Wilkes County and Jamestown.

But at a time when the president's poll numbers are declining in North Carolina, the turnout by the state's top Democratic officeholders was noticeably skimpy.

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., showed up for Obama's rally in Asheville. And U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., was at Guilford Technical College.

But the other five Tar Heel Democrats in the U.S. House were no-shows. As was Gov. Bev Perdue.

At least she and U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., who represents Asheville, had good excuses: They were on overseas trips; Perdue in China, Shuler in Sri Lanka.

Prior to leaving for her trade trip, Perdue denied that N.C. politicians are worried about Obama's dip in the polls.

"There's not an elected official in America who isn't having the same kind of challenges with poll numbers," Perdue told the Observer. "It's a horribly difficult time for families in America and North Carolina, so it's obviously a tough time for everybody."
–Tim Funk