A couple of weeks ago Jay Cost wrote a column at the Weekly Standard about red state Democrats and their “sneak it past the rubes” tactic.
“Under this approach, you pre-sent yourself to your constituents as an independent voice, not in hock to the national Democratic party, so as to get elected,” wrote Cost. “Then the national party allows you generally to vote with your constituents, on the understanding that when the chips are down you will vote with the liberal leadership.”
Cost named former North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad as a deft practitioner of this maneuver, and I noted that Conrad’s replacement Heidi Heitkamp has been no slouch either. Heitkamp refused to attend her party’s national convention in 2012 when she was running against Republican Rick Berg, and took to referring to herself as an “independent” instead of a Democrat. She talked often of her willingness to “stand up to” President Obama
Then she got elected to the Senate and promptly began voting with Obama 97 percent of the time, according to National Journal.
Now Heitkamp has taken her schtick to Alaska where she’s trying to help embattled incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Begich, who has been behind in the polls for more than a month now.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says the Alaska Senate race is about the state’s future, not President Barack Obama’s.
Begich spoke to volunteers in Juneau with Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Heitkamp praised Begich as a moderate who is unafraid to stand up to Obama.
Again, Heitkamp touted herself as someone who would stand up to Obama. And then posted a voting record with the President on the issues 97 percent of the time.
Why would Alaska expect anything different from Begich?