Dem congressman won't endorse Obama

Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren says he will vote for Barack Obama, at the polls and the party convention, but that Obama is too liberal for his constituents.

By Alex Koppelman
Published June 10, 2008 9:32PM (EDT)

Bad news for Barack Obama: He won't be getting the all-important Dan Boren endorsement after all.

Actually, Boren's endorsement isn't really that important, and you can be forgiven if you don't even know who Boren, a Democratic congressman from Oklahoma, is. Even so, he felt he needed to make his position public, and told the Associated Press that though he will be voting for Obama both in his capacity as a superdelegate and as an ordinary citizen in November, he won't be publicly supporting the presumptive Democratic nominee.

"We're much more conservative," Boren told the AP, comparing the district he represents with Obama's stances. "I've got to reflect my district. No one means more to me than the people who elected me. I have to listen them." Boren also called Obama "the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate," echoing a dubious ranking from the National Journal that has become a favorite talking point of Republicans.

It wouldn't be too surprising if other congressional Democrats, or Democratic candidates, tried to distance themselves from Obama as well. Republicans have already made it clear that they'll use Obama to tar Democrats as too liberal for their constituents, and though the tactic has failed so far and Democrats attacked in that manner have actually won in some previously Republican districts, other candidates in tough fights will likely be scared anyway.

Hillary Clinton carried Boren's district by a wide margin in Oklahoma's Democratic primary earlier this year.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Barack Obama War Room