Show Me the Money! Obama Raises Campaign Cash in Missouri While Democratic Senate Candidate is in Washington

Mar 10, 2010 12:02pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: Tonight in St. Louis, President Obama is raising some campaign cash for the Democratic Party and for Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., an early supporter of Obama’s presidential bid who is not up for re-election until 2012. Not attending tonight’s events? Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, the likely Democratic candidate in this year’s election to replace retiring Republican Sen. Kit Bond. The race for Missouri’s open seat is shaping up as a bitter, close battle between Carnahan and Republican Rep. Roy Blunt. Democrats view the race as a prime opportunity to pick off a Republican seat by painting Blunt as a Washington insider while Republicans will try to link Carnahan to Obama and his agenda. With that fierce showdown looming in the Show Me State, it is curious that Carnahan will be out of town when the president pays a visit. As Obama heads west, Carnahan flies east for meetings in Washington, part of her official Secretary of State duties. What is Carnahan missing back in her home state today? A possible photo opportunity with the president at the airport, a place on stage at the president’s health care remarks and a chance to mingle with top Democratic donors at tonight’s fundraising events. Democrats say this is not about dissing the president, but instead chalk it up to a scheduling conflict. "Robin will be meeting with financial regulators and policymakers to demand strong financial reforms to hold Wall Street bankers accountable,” her spokesperson Linden Zakula said in a statement. Blunt’s campaign said that Carnahan may be in Washington but she “can't hide from her rubber-stamp support of Barack Obama.” “Carnahan said she supported government-run health care, cap and tax and the failing so-called "stimulus" bill,” said Rich Chrismer, spokesman for leading Republican Senate contender Roy Blunt. “Perhaps the liberals in Missouri are not liberal enough for her which is why she's spending her time in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, New York City and Washington, D.C.” White House and Democratic Party officials would not say where Obama will campaign over the next few months or which candidates have requested his time, but insist there is a large stack of requests for his time. In fact a future appearance sharing the stage with Carnahan may very well be on his 2010 campaign tour. "[Carnahan's] people have asked if President Obama would please appear with her in a future event soon," White House spokesman Reid Cherlin told reporters on Air Force One en route to St. Louis. "We are working on that now."   In the 2008 presidential campaign, Missouri was one of the key targeted battleground states that Obama was unable to flip from Red to Blue. It was also the state with the fewest votes separating Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Obama, with McCain winning by just 3,903 votes. Obama has already hit the road to stump and raise cash for Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Co., and tonight’s events bring the president’s total to seven fundraisers so far this year. Party officials say that Obama will increase his presence on the campaign trail as the midterm elections get closer and he will be “aggressively” working for Democratic candidates where and when he can be helpful. — Karen Travers *This post has been updated.

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