As if the Democratic race in NH’s 2nd district weren’t already contentious enough, Ann McLane Kuster held a press conference this morning, slamming her opponent Katrina Swett on her position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While the two Democrats have fairly similar stances on most issues of domestic policy, international affairs is an area in which they differ.
Karen Langley of the Concord Monitor wrote a good story looking at their differences, but essentially, Swett supported authorizing President Bush to use force in Iraq and President Obama to sent a troop surge to Afghanistan, while Kuster supported neither.
The difference is one that has not received much attention from the media — which has largely focused on the lobbying accusations flying on the left side of the race. It is an important policy distinction between the two candidates, and deserves scrutiny and examination.
However, whether Kuster should be slamming Swett on the issue less than a week after the lobbying shenanigans is more unclear.
Kuster certainly needs as much press coverage as she can get right now (a July poll showed that 88 percent of voters had never heard of her). But it adds to the existing perception that the Democratic race has become bitter and ugly.
NH Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley has already warned Kuster and Swett that their fighting will only serve to boost moderate Republican Charlie Bass. The frontrunner seems to have dodged any direct attacks or scandals in this race so far, and is doing well in the polls.
Will any voters pick a Democrat after this battle is over? With a month until the primary and things just heating up, it’s looking less and less likely.