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POLITICS: Campaigns

Well, that's awkward: Obama travels to Colorado to support Sen. Mark Udall, but Udall doesn't want to be seen in public with him

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Barack Obama,Senate,Colorado,2014 Elections,Campaigns,Mark Udall,Becket Adams

President Obama is headlining a Wednesday fundraising event in Colorado to support the re-election campaign of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

But Udall, who is in the middle of a tough race against Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, won't be at the event: He cancelled at the last minute, opting instead to stay in Washington to vote on the president's nominee to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Mark is grateful for the president’s support, and had hoped to welcome him to Colorado in person, but his responsibilities to serve Colorado in the Senate come first,” spokesman Chris Harris said.


Adding to Obama's embarrassment is the fact that Udall’s campaign actually stated earlier this week that it wouldn’t avoid a fundraising event with the president.

"If the president is in town, and the president wants to be helpful, why would anyone want to pass that up?" Udall consultant Mike Stratton said. "I don't think one visit by the president is going to change anything in terms of the dynamics of the campaign."

Hey, people change their minds, right?

But wait! There's more: Udall cancelling his fundraising appearance also comes on the heels of him announcing earlier this week that he’d be unable to attend the president’s economic address in Denver on Wednesday morning.


Let's be honest for a moment: Udall's decision to ditch the fundraiser likely has more to do with the president's declining approval rating and his close association with politically toxic issues, including the Affordable Care Act, than it does with the senate's HUD vote.


Remember: Udall is one of a handful of Democratic senators who are fighting tooth and nail to hold on to their seats. Simply put, Udall is likely trying to play it safe, meaning no appearances with Mr. Obamacare.

Republicans are of course enjoying all of this.

Now that Udall "has been called out on being a rubber stamp for President Obama's agenda, he has decided to hide in Washington, D.C. instead of face voters back in his home state,” Gardner spokesman Alex Siciliano said. “Senator Udall's bizarre behavior these last few days will no doubt leave many Coloradans questioning his integrity, and rightly so."

Silver lining for Obama: No Udall could mean more time for the president to indulge in pool, beers, bro fistbumps with gorilla statues and cavorting with horse face-masked fans. You know, presidential stuff.

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