Van Hollen: Obama picks his spots when campaigning

The chairman of the House Democrats' campaign committee said Friday that President Barack Obama listens to individual lawmakers when deciding whether or not to campaign for them.

Van Hollen's comments come as it appears President Barack Obama will not make a stop for Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), whom he endorsed over Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) in the party's Senate primary. Specter and Sestak are running neck-and-neck, according to several polls.

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"I think the president realizes there are some districts where he is strong and some districts where he is not as strong, so he will take the lead from members of Congress," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said on MSNBC.

Many Democrats from traditionally Republican districts are considered vulnerable to losing their reelection bids, and Van Hollen's comments suggested they would be better served by eschewing an appearance with Obama.

Obama has made some high-profile campaign stops for several candidates who did not win reelection in close races, such as Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost to Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D), who lost to Gov. Chris Christie (R).

With regards to Specter, Vice President Joe Biden suggested that Obama's schedule wouldn't allow for a campaign stop.

But the Maryland Democrat, who helms the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that Obama is a great help to Democrats everywhere, even if he doesn't stump for all of them.

"I think Barack Obama helps everybody by making the points he made last night in terms of drawing the contrast [between Democrats and Republicans]," he said.

Cross-posted to the Briefing Room