There's been a lot of headlines about Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill skipping the Democratic National Convention this year. She's in a tight re-election race and the conventional wisdom is that she wants to avoid being tied to the Obama administration, which apparently isn't that popular in Missouri.
But McCaskill isn't the only U.S. Senate candidate skipping her party's national convention. Here in New Mexico, Republican Heather Wilson will be staying here in New Mexico during the GOP's national shindig in Tampa in August.
"Wilson spokesman Chris Sanchez said that the former congresswoman does not plan to attend the convention in August and will be campaigning in New Mexico at the time," the National Journal reported yesterday.
And Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post commented:
Simply put: Not going to the convention won’t save McCaskill from having to defend herself against attacks that she was a major Obama backer. The same goes for Wilson and former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle, who is running for Senate and will have to find ways to get separation from their national party, even though they won’t be at the Republican National Convention.
Having to answer for your party — in any and all of these cases — is far from a political death sentence. After all, there is a Republican senator from Massachusetts and a Democratic senator from Alaska. People can be convinced that you are your own person — particularly in these high-profile Senate races.
But simply skipping the convention won’t make the problem go away.
Or maybe Karl Rove is right and Heather really is an independent. (That's a sarcastic reference to the new American Crossroads ad for Wilson. Read my analysis of that and an anti-Wilson ad in today's New Mexican. And check out those ads below)