Only seven Democrats voted for the earmark moratorium in the Senate on Tuesday, including two who are likely looking ahead to their 2012 re-election bids.http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/11/with-eye-on-12.php
Of the 23 members of the Democratic caucus who are up for re-election in 2012, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) supported the ban.
Their votes show that they are guarding their right flank on spending for their next campaigns. Spending -- and the national debt -- has become a dominant political issue in both Missouri and Florida, both of which look more red after the election results this year.
Two weeks ago, Nelson defended earmarks. At the Florida State Democratic convention last year, Nelson blew off my concerns about the deficit.
These politicians need to realize that people are not impressed by cynical politically motivated flip flops. In fact, when politicians demonstrate such a lack of integrity and conviction, such flip flops hurt. It's how you create an "enthusiasm gap".