From MSNBC.com's Tom Curry
Rep. Steve Cohen -- an early Obama endorser -- told me in June (right after Emily's List endorsed his primary foe Nikki Tinker) that he was disappointed that Obama was not helping him.
The primary is today in Memphis.
Cohen said then that he'd asked the Obama campaign staff if Obama would come to Memphis to campaign for him, but they rejected the idea, saying Obama wouldn't get involved in congressional primaries. Yet Obama did do a radio ad in June endorsing Rep. John Barrow of Georgia, another white Democrat who faced an African-American primary opponent.
Cohen said in June he was disappointed that Obama wouldn't go to bat for him.
As a white candidate running in a congressional district with a black majority population, Cohen likens himself to Obama, a mixed-race man running for president of a mostly white country. "I'm asking people to judge me just as [Obama] is asking people to judge him," Cohen said.
When I called Cohen's campaign manager Jerry Austin a few minutes ago, he had not yet heard of the Obama statement denouncing the inflammatory ads being aired by Nikki Tinker.
Referring to Obama, Austin noted that this statement was not an endorsement. He said sourly, "We're going to win without his endorsement."
As for today's statement from Obama condemning the Tinker ads (although not Tinker by name) Austin said, "The ads started last Friday. He could have said this earlier rather than on election day. Better late than never."