From the Wall Street Journal:
It’s a good thing nobody’s taking roll in Charlotte, N.C., this week. Many of the party’s moderates are playing hookie, supposedly in order to stay home and campaign. Sure. But who can really blame them for wanting to avoid being seen hobnobbing with the party’s liberal standard bearers?
Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia top the absent list. All three are up for re-election in red states. Mr. Manchin has gone to marathon-lengths to distance himself from President Obama, even refusing to endorse him. Mr. Tester regularly trumpets his independence on the stump. And while Ms. McCaskill is now well-positioned to win re-election, she was considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats when she announced in June that she’d skip the party.
Also missing are Blue Dog Congressmen John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah. Mr. Barrow, who’s the last remaining white Democratic congressman from the South, is in the fight of his political life thanks to an unfavorable redistricting. His campaign is even running ads boasting that he’s voted with Majority Leader Eric Cantor 54% of the time. Mr. Matheson, who was redistricted out of his seat, faces a formidable challenge from the black conservative phenom Mia Love, mayor of Saratoga Springs.
Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz, West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall and New York Reps. Bill Owens and Kathy Hochul also won’t be seen or heard from in Charlotte. All of them represent districts that are high on the GOP’s target list of pick-ups. Heidi Heitkamp, who’s vying to replace retiring North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad’s seat, is staying home as well.
What party poopers. Then again, the Democratic Party’s progressive base probably isn’t too disappointed by the no-shows.