The Corner

Obama’s Primary Challengers

President Obama is lucky he was able to intimidate any significant Democrat from challenging him in this year’s primaries. As Katrina noted, a collection of nobodies — including the non-person “Uncommitted” — have been giving him a run for his money in several primaries.

In this month’s West Virginia primary a convicted felon serving time in a Texas prison won over 40 percent of the vote. Last night, in Kentucky’s primary “Uncommitted” won 42 percent of the vote and actually carried a majority of the state’s 120 counties over the incumbent president. Dozens of traditionally Democratic counties — including the coal region around Pikeville — spurned Obama. They obviously included many of the Democratic primary voters who Obama said in 2008 continued to “cling” to guns and religion. They certainly aren’t clinging to their incumbent president this year.

In Arkansas last night, Obama faced a live, non-felon opponent name John Wolfe Jr. who won 42 percent of the vote. A lawyer from Tennessee, Wolfe is a former Obama supporter who says Obama has been captured by special interests. “I think the president campaigned one way and then he governed another,” Wolfe told ABC News, saying that in handling financial bailouts Obama has “institutionalized failure.” “What he did was he brought in people who caused the crisis and made them his closest advisers: Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley, Jack Lew,” Wolfe said, making a critique that is completely compatible with mainstream liberal thinking.

Wolfe has faced Obama before. In Louisiana he won three parishes.

But no matter how well he does, don’t expect Team Obama to allow him or any other candidate to collect delegates who could become a magnet for media attention at the Democratic convention in Charlotte.

The party claims that Wolfe failed to fill out some paperwork for submitting delegate slates in Arkansas so his strong showing will not net him any representation at the convention.

Arkansas Democratic party spokeswoman Candace Martin told the Associated Press that any delegates Wolfe might claim won’t be recognized at the national convention.

Wolfe says he is being treated unfairly. He told the blog PolicyMic: “I filled out 4 sets of forms. I wrote out a check for $2,500 to be paid to the Arkansas Democratic Party. They cashed it. Nothing was said that day about deadlines missed or forms missing. It gets better, stay tuned for more.”

Wolfe will next face off against President Obama in the Texas primary, which will be held next Tuesday.

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