Some rather unsurprising news hit today, as President Barack Obama endorsed scandal-plagued Democrat Cedric Richmond over incumbent Republican Joseph Cao for Louisiana’s 2nd District congressional seat.
Obama’s reasoning for the endorsement, despite having bragged about his strong working relationship with Cao, was that Richmond “shares our values and supports our agenda.”
“I look forward to working with Cedric in the next Congress because he believes in our shared agenda of increasing access to quality, affordable health care and investing in job creation,” the president said in a written statement.
The endorsement is pure partisan politics, as keeping Democrat control of the House of Representatives trumps everything else for the president. It also indicates that Cao’s vote against final passage of Obamacare (“affordable health care” in Obamese) and his opposition to the stimulus and Cap and Trade (investing in “job creation,” as curious as that sounds) have much to do with today’s announcement. It’s nevertheless amusing to see Obama’s endorsement of Richmond, given the chummy relationship the two have had…
At Wednesday’s bill signing ceremony of the Wall Street reform legislation, President Obama singled out New Orleans Congressman Ahn “Joseph” Cao, one of three Republican House members who voted for the President’s overhaul of the financial system aimed a protecting consumers. The President thanked three Republican Senators and three House members who voted for the bill saying they “put partisanship aside, judged this bill on its merit and voted for reform.” The the President added, “Good to see you, Joe” when he spotted Cao in the crowd as the mostly Democratic audience applauded loudly.
Cao, a Republican elected in 2008 in a heavily Democratic district in New Orleans, said that he gets along very well with Obama on a personal level, though many other GOP lawmakers are more critical of the president.
“I love the president, and I believe he truly likes me,” Cao told the New Orleans Times-Picayune in a profile published on Thursday.
Cao said he appreciated the president’s sensitive approach in seeking his vote on an issue that many observers say could make or break Obama’s presidency.
“He fully understands where I stand on abortion, and he doesn’t want me to vote against my conscience because he, like me, believes that if we were to vote against our conscience, our moral values, there is really nothing left for us to defend,” Cao said. “I’m glad that the president is very understanding. He really shows his own moral character.”
“He did not whip me on the vote,” he said.
Of course, if what Obama told Cao in the past is true the endorsement of Richmond came as a result of the Republican’s refusal to vote for Cap-And-Trade last year…
Sources tell THE DEAD PELICAN that Obama (the Democrat) promised to assist Cao (the Republican) in his re-election in return for his vote!
Is it reasonable to have expected Obama to endorse Cao? No. Is it reasonable for Cao to have expected no endorsement in the race? Not really. But it’s certainly instructive that the president, who attempts to offer himself as a centrist who seeks bi-partisan solutions, even attempts to defeat his “favorite” Republican.
At least, it ought to be fairly instructive to Cao. Should he win re-election, one would hope that he would recognize the value of working with Obama for what it is and move away from big-government policy in the next Congress.