It seems that for George Sinner, even things that would seem to boost his campaign only provide a contrast for how lackluster his candidacy has been.
During the 2012 cycle, former President Bill Clinton was fairly involved in North Dakota’s races. He was the keynote speaker at the Democrats’ statewide convention that year, and he headlined a late-October rally for Heitkamp. Given Heitkamp’s narrow margin of victory – less than 1 percent of the vote – there’s no question Clinton probably helped put her over the top.
Now Clinton is involving himself in North Dakota politics again, endorsing Sinner to win over incumbent Republican Kevin Cramer.
Cramer, for his part, doesn’t think much of the endorsement:
I suppose it would greedy of me to hope the current president would endorse my opponent. This is just about as good. http://t.co/CJW6KnC1HN
— Kevin Cramer (@kevincramer) November 3, 2014
I’m not sure the comparison of Clinton to Obama is apt. Clearly, Clinton helped Heitkamp in 2012 while an endorsement from Obama in 2012 or 2014 likely would have been toxic in North Dakota.
But will Clinton help Sinner?
The fact that Clinton’s endorsement is coming so late – roughly a third of North Dakotans have probably cast their ballots by now – and the fact that Clinton hasn’t actually come to North Dakota to rally for Sinner (despite being nearby in Minnesota just a month ago) speaks volumes.
If Democrats perceived Sinner as close to Cramer, Clinton’s endorsement probably would have been in person and done much earlier in the cycle. But I don’t think Democrats see the race that way, thus Clinton’s endorsement was from afar.