Friday, August 17, 2007

Jim Esch Acknowledges Concerns About Clinton

by Kyle Michaelis
With Hillary Clinton making a campaign stop in Council Bluffs Tuesday night - just across the state line from Omaha and Nebraska's Second Congressional District - 2006 Democratic challenger Jim Esch was asked by KMTV's Joe Jordan for his response to fears that Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic nomination for president would hurt potential down-ballot candidates like himself in Republican-dominated districts where Clinton has very high unfavorable ratings.

KMTV 3 Action News reports:
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York) brought her presidential bid to Southwest Iowa on Tuesday night, and her campaign is talking up a big turnout. The campaign is estimating that 1,100 people showed up at the Iowa School for the Deaf, where Mrs. Clinton's biggest applause came when she urged the President to bring the troops in Iraq home....  
According to a recent Associated Press report dozens of Democrats around the country are privately complaining that if Mrs. Clinton wins the party's nomination next year, many Democratic candidates down the ticket (especially those running for the House of Representatives) will lose in an anti-Hillary backlash.
Omaha Democrat Jim Esch, who ran for Congress last year and lost, tells Action 3 News he understands that fear, especially in this part of the country. Esch has not decided if he'll run again in 2008, but says he knows he has to make that decision soon.
Of course, if Esch is concerned about being lumped-in with Clinton, it seems rather unfair to toss Esch into these reports that otherwise cover what sounds like a very successful Clinton campaign appearance. Note that Esch wasn't actually at Clinton's rally, so this talk of an "Anti-Hillary backlash" is really quite the manufactured angle.
Esch's response might make for a worthy story in its own right - especially placed within the larger national context. But, here it is completely out of place, serving only to undermine Clinton's appearance and to weaken a base of support Esch might still wish to call upon in some not-too-distant future campaign.

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