Dem Senate Candidates Face Choice Between Clinton And Obama On TPP

Democratic senate hopefuls in Colorado, Florida and New Hampshire were probably hoping to dodge the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), opposed by many in the liberal wing of their party, until they could quietly fly under the radar, but that strategy just backfired with Hillary Clinton’s epic flip flop on the trade deal.

Despite her past support, Clinton announced today that she will oppose TPP, putting her on the opposite side of President Obama, and putting Michael Bennet, Patrick Murphy and Maggie Hassan in quite a pickle.

Take Bennet, who just signed on to Clinton’s Colorado leadership council, but he was a staunch Obama supporter in 2008. He’s already at loggerheads with Clinton on the Keystone XL pipeline, so things are going to get real awkward at her next Centennial State campaign swing if he breaks with her on this too.

Murphy is also backing Clinton, but he’s worked to draw a contrast between himself and his bombastic primary opponent, Rep. Alan Grayson, who aggressively opposes the deal, and a new Quinnipiac poll shows Clinton’s approval ratings are underwater in Florida.

Or Maggie Hassan, the Democrats’ newest senate recruit. She endorsed Clinton just weeks ago, but, under fire for her tax-and-spend record, she has been eager to present herself as a moderate and faces pressure to court the business community in her export-heavy state.

Whose side will these vulnerable Democrats take? It’s safe to say President Obama and Secretary Clinton are waiting to find out.