Monday, August 20, 2012

Akin: Down, or Done?

This has to be one of the most miserable launches in Missouri political history.  Less than two weeks after an upset win in the US Senate Republican primary, Congressman Todd Akin has gone from making unpopular policy statements (funding for school lunch programs) to odd policy statements (repealing the 17th Amendment).  But now we’ve entered the realm of truly offensive policy comments.

 

In an interviewed by Charles Jaco, Akin seemed to distinguish between real rapes and fake rapes (?) by employing the phrase “legitimate rape.”  He continued that line of thought with “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

 

Maybe this is a reference to stress related hormones which reduce fertility, but he sounds like someone who thinks that women don’t get pregnant when it’s really rape.

 

Watch it here.

 

Akin released a statement later to try to minimize the damage.  Read it here.  (It didn’t work.)  He will try again this morning (9:30am) on KMOX with Charlie Brennan (Will it work?).

 

 

A lightning round with top-shelf Missouri GOPers this morning….

“It's bad!!!!!   I put it at dead even...  The talk amongst Republicans is bad.  The problem is he is crazy enough he didn’t misspeak, I think he actually believes it.”

 

 

“Todd will never drop. It is bad, but it is pre Labor Day so it can be recovered from over the next 75 days. The problem is Todd has been off message the last two weeks and cannot seem to help himself. He needs to stay on message. Learn to say the word JOBS.”

 

 

“Fatal.”

 

 

“Bad. Still his to lose.”

 

 

“I think it is survivable unless the national media and national Ds get ahold of it and don't let go, like they did with George Allen. The race is largely about McCaskill and Barack Obama.  I think the % he drops because of it are very small.”

 

 

“Don't overestimate the informed-ness of the Missouri electorate scattered across multiple media markets. And how conservative we are... It may continue if he doesn't have help outside his family though.”

 

 

“It fits into McCaskill’s narrative: too extreme for Missouri.  I didn’t think any three of them could lose to her, but he may.  He’s never had to win a general election.  He needs to get coached up quickly.”

 

 

“I think you have to wait a few days to see how well the Democrats exploit it and if Republicans throw him under the bus.  Then you can gauge if it puts Claire in the lead.”

 

 

Final Akin Bits

Former primary foe Sarah Steelman didn’t pull punches tweeting: “Todd Akin's remarks about "legitimate rape" were inexcusable, insulting and embarrassing to the GOP. #mosen”

 

Why Akin Doesn’t Drop

Former state senator Jeff Smith aptly puts it into 140 characters: “1)last shot @ Sen;  2)Claire<45% for a year; 3)establishment opposed him since '00- no leverage; 4)God called him 2 run.”

 

The Calendar

The best guess then is that Akin survives this week, but that his rape comments probably takes this entire week away from him.   Akin then gets a reprieve with media attention shifting to the Republican Convention next week.  The question is whether  he continues to plague himself after that or whether he can make a clean start for the final nine weeks of the campaign.

 

McCaskill Presses

Sen. Claire McCaskill went on Morning Joe to press the issue.  See the segment here – they consider whether Mitt Romney should come in, play the heavy and push Akin out.  McCaskill calls it “painful.”

 

 

Pike Fined

Randy Pike, the victor of the Republican primary in House 126, was fined $100 by the Missouri Ethics Commission because the banner he hung on his mother’s garage door originally didn’t have the “paid for” disclosure.  Read  it here.  There’s no Democrat filed in that district.

 

 

Bits

Dave Spence sends a fresh $750K into his gubernatorial campaign. See $5K+ Contributions below.

 

 

Summary judgment on Robin Carnahan’s language for healthcare ballot initiative will be issued August 28.  Read it here.

 

 

Governor Jay Nixon wins on Akin craziness as it pushes the cut of cheese from the WIC program out of the news.  Read it here.

 

 

$5K+ Contributions

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $9,936 from Clayco.

Missourians for Health and Education - $9,000 from American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $30,000 from Citizens for Timothy W. Jones.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc.

Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts Committee - $10,000 from Langdon & Emison.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $20,000 from James McDonnell.

MO Insurance Coalition PAC - $8,000 from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City Political Action Committee for Missouri.

Missourians for Health and Education - $10,000 from Friends of Chris Kelly.

Lembke for Senate - $15,000 from Schaaf for Senate.

Spence for Governor - $750,000 from David Spence.

 

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former state senator Chuck Gross (54).