Political Animal


November 01, 2012 11:59 AM Our SOB

By Ed Kilgore

Better late than never, I suppose, per Politico’s John Bresnahan and Manu Raju:

Rep. Todd Akin and the Missouri Republican Party are launching a nearly $700,000 TV ad blitz in the closing days of his challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, but the source of the funds for the effort is unclear.
These are the first ads run by the Missouri GOP in conjunction with Akin’s campaign. Of the total, $386,000 will come from the Missouri GOP to pay for the ad run, with the remaining supplied by Akin’s committee.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee declined repeatedly to comment on whether it is the source of the funds being used by the Missouri GOP on Akin’s behalf. Previously, the committee has insisted it would stay out of the race.
However, only national committees — the NRSC or the Republican National Committee — or individual campaign committees that raise money in compliance with federal limits are permitted to shift funds to a state party for a coordinated ad buy.
A spokesman for the Missouri GOP said it does not comment on its advertising strategy. The RNC could not be reached for comment.

It’s a fascinating situation. Concerned that Akin would taint the entire GOP with his views on “legitimate rape” and endanger what had appeared to be overwhelmingly high odds of a Senate takeover, and also confident they could force him out of the race, Republican leaders, headed up by NRSC chairman John Cornyn, played chicken with the feisty Christian Right champion—and he called their bluff. Now Republicans are frantic to resurrect Senate candidates somewhere, anywhere, and ol’ Todd’s still on the ballot and within single digits of Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, whose seat GOP strategists had pocketed as a gimme earlier in the cycle.

It sounds from the Politico account like GOP poohbahs are dumping some quick cash in Missouri and hoping no one much notices their hypocrisy until after next Tuesday. Either way, Akin is probably laughing all the way to the bank, though probably not to the Senate.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on November 01, 2012 12:18 PM:

    Well, considering Akins is no longer an idiotic solo act, why not?

    They're funding the rest of the "Rape Chorus," right?

    No wonder Mitt's their candidate!
    They don't believe in sh*t either, and will say and do anything to win.

    Color me not surprised.

  • T2 on November 01, 2012 12:22 PM:

    "taint the entire GOP with his views" are you kidding. Read the GOP Platform approved at their Convention in August. Akin's views ARE the GOP views. The problem was that the general public wasn't supposed to find out until after the elections. That's what they were mad at him for.

  • punaise on November 01, 2012 12:38 PM:

    GOP hypocrisy. Now, there's a redundancy...

  • Ron Byers on November 01, 2012 1:11 PM:

    Dead on T2. Akin's views are identical to those of Paul Ryan. Although he merely repeats the party line, being dumb as box of rocks, he does it openly and proudly.

  • boatboy_srq on November 01, 2012 1:38 PM:

    @T2 and Ron Byers:

    Akin's heresy was not believing has he does, nor intending to vote the agenda he is, but actually saying so in words the electorate could understand and failing to employ the dogwhistle equivalents. Talk about "states' rights" and "personal responsibility" sounds wonderful until you mention that applying those concepts means no more Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, FEMA, etc etc, and that the state may do something to pick up the slack. Similarly, talk about "sanctity of life" and "family values" sounds wonderful until it's revealed that those things mean no help for single parents, no effective family planning, and states mandating every shaming tactic imaginable to keep women from doing anything other than getting pregnant and having babies.

    The GOTea has a plan for the US: they've read Atlas Shrugged and The Handmaid's Tale and they've constructed an instruction manual from the two. Akin's only mistake was translating a portion of that manual into everyday language.