U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney calls himself a Blue Dog Democrat. Some Democrats think he's just a dog.
At a time when some Hillary Clinton loyalists would rather stick a flag pin in their eye than rally behind Barack Obama -- but are doing so anyway because of the larger goal of taking back the White House -- Mahoney can't bring himself to back the party's first African-American nominee.
Mahoney, you'll recall, got elected by the skin of his canines just 19 months ago in a Palm Beach County district after Republican Mark Foley's flirty e-mails to former congressional pages buried him in disgrace.
The Democratic establishment went to bat to help Mahoney beat a more experienced Republican, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and fighting the GOP's perfectly reasonable effort to take Foley's name off the ballot. Union officials knocked on doors. Former Sen. Bob Graham campaigned with Mahoney in the homestretch.
"I don't owe the party anything,'' said Mahoney, whose election helped the Democrats take control of Congress. "If anybody owes anybody anything, it's [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi who owes a debt to me.''
Read Beth Reinhard's column here.