Is the CBC Showing Obama Too Much Tough Love?
CBC members are now being primaried by candidates who want to support Obama
It wasn't long ago that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was airing out his father, the civil rights activist of the same name, over disparaging comments made about Barack Obama when he was running for president. Now Obama is president, and Rep. Jackson Jr. is being called out for not supporting Obama.
Rep. Debbie Halvorson is challenging Jackson in an Illinois primary for his congressional seat, and is running mostly on the idea that Jackson isn't playing nice with the Obama Administration.
Halvorson told Politico, "There have been times when the congressman has spoken out against the president for not doing enough. [Voters] really should have a person who stands with this president, who in this district is loved and revered."
That might be a tough sell in Obama's home state, but Halvorson isn't the only challenger who is primarying Congressional Black Caucus members partly on the platform of being pro-Obama during an anti-Obama season.
Rep. John Conyers is being challenged by Michigan state senator Bert Johnson, paying special attention to Conyers' threat at one point to wage a march on the White House against Obama. Michigan is also a state where Obama has curried some favor for helping bail out the auto industry. But Johnson put Conyers on blast in Black Voices back in August saying "We should not pull the rug out from underneath the president when he needs our solidarity the most."
We're not too far out to remember that many members of the CBC initially supported Hillary Clinton for president instead of Obama. During that time, Georgia Rep. John Lewis endorsed Clinton early and was challenged in 2010 over that support. He's now being challenged again for 2012 by Georgia judge Michael Johnson.