Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sam Graves is very afraid

I saw the homophobic disco-themed attack ad on Talking Points Memo earlier today, but I did not realize until just now that it is being put on the air by Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri, who I covered when I was a graduate student writing from Washington for the St. Joseph News-Press. Here is the ad, which is complete self-parody:

Graves is the incumbent, but as the ad makes clear he is looking increasingly desperate against ex-Kansas City mayor Kay Barnes, an ally of Sen. Claire McCaskill.

We last checked in on Graves when he was opposing children's health care and serving as a possible factor in McCaskill's Obama endorsement. I bet money that part of his panic here is because it's now clear that Obama is the nominee -- note the use of Nancy Pelosi as boogeyman; HRC is unavailable.

Graves' problem is that he is a hard-core Bush/Cheney Republican running in a district that only leans Republican. Buchanan County, for example, voted for Bush over Kerry in 2004, but only 52-47. McCaskill won there in 2006, as did the state's resolution permitting stem cell research, which Graves opposed. (To be sure, Graves also won in 2006 by a large margin. But his opponent, Sara Jo Shettles, had nowhere near the base that Barnes, a successful mayor and a St. Joseph native, brings to the race.)

In short, Graves is exactly the sort of Republican House member who should be freaking out about his prospects of keeping his job after November. And, right on cue, the ad above -- released in May, which does not exactly project a calm, even-keeled demeanor about the state of the race -- serves as an object lesson in exactly how worried he is.

Here's Barnes' response ad, you will see it strikes exactly the right tone:

Prediction: Graves is toast.


stridewideman said...

That was a firm ass-whipping of a campaign ad. Nice to see from someone on our side. I like that it sticks to issues and demonizes corporate america. I love the new populism!

Daniel said...

I can't believe that's a real commercial. Looks like an SNL bit.

How's your new gig treating you?