Last Wednesday, President Obama came to Connecticut to campaign for a minimum wage hike and meet with New England's Democratic governors. Four of the five governors showed up. New Hampshire's Maggie Hassan did not. She claimed a scheduling conflict. Her only public event that day was a photo op for the New Hampshire Food Bank at Bedford's Harvest Market.
The photo op involved Hassan buying a "can of nothing," which the Food Bank offers at New Hampshire supermarkets in exchange for donations. So in an election year in which she has yet to draw a top-tier opponent, Maggie Hassan decided it was safer politically to have her picture taken with nothing rather than with the President of the United States. She chose an empty can over an empty suit. That is how toxic the President - with his 55 percent disapproval rating - has become.
Yet it gets better. On that same day, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 250-160 to delay Obamacare's individual mandate for a year. Twenty-seven Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of the delay. Among them were New Hampshire's Carol Shea-Porter and Anne Kuster.
Less than a year ago, Shea-Porter and Kuster voted against delaying the individual mandate. After that vote last July, Kuster's office said in a statement that delaying the individual mandate would "undermine implementation of health care reform." If only Congress had done more to undermine Obamacare's implementation before it was implemented.
Unfortunately for Kuster, Shea-Porter, Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Obamacare passed into law with zero Republican votes and was implemented as the Democrats' remedy for America's health insurance problems. The voters have had five months in which to experience that remedy. They hate it. Not a single national poll has shown President Obama's approval rating higher than his disapproval rating since last July. Not a single national poll has had Obamacare's approval rating higher than its disapproval rating since January - of 2013. Both the President and his signature law are deeply unpopular nationally and in New Hampshire. So Kuster and Shea-Porter vote for delays they strongly opposed last year (before Obamacare took effect), and Hassan poses with an empty can rather than the President of the United States.
The day after Shea-Porter and Kuster held their noses and voted to delay the individual mandate, The Washington Post reported that 90 percent of people who have signed up for health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges said they were switching from an existing health plan. That is, only a tenth of the signups are people who lack insurance.
For this, the federal government has remade the entire U.S. health insurance industry. And Kuster, Shea-Porter, Shaheen, and Hassan still support the law that created this nightmare.
Their great hope is that you won't associate them too closely with it between now and November.