OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

Wow, how desperate is this guy? Incumbent Republican Senator from Oregon, Gordon Smith, who has already tried casting himself as the change candidate against his Democratic rival in one ad, is now actually using Barack Obama to promote his own candidacy, even implying a quasi endorsement with the opening line:

Who says Gordon Smith helped lead the fight for better gas mileage and a cleaner environment? Barack Obama!"

Watch it:

What's funny is that while the voiceover talks about Obama "saying" something nice about Smith, the image actually points to a quote from Smith that appears in a press release on Obama's senate website (although clearly Smith would like everyone to think it's his presidential website) as though the fact that Smith is mentioned on Obama's site alone is akin to some sort of endorsement.

So did Obama actually praise Gordon Smith's leadership on energy? Nope, not anywhere in that press release, he didn't and, quite to the contrary, today the Obama campaign made sure the whole world knows just whom he's supporting for the Oregon senate.

"Barack Obama has a long record of bipartisan accomplishment and we appreciate that it is respected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate. But in this race, Oregonians should know that Barack Obama supports Jeff Merkley for Senate. Merkley will help Obama bring about the fundamental change we need in Washington," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Awesome.

What makes this even more satisfying is that Smith was an extremely early McCain endorser yet here ends up reinforcing the idea that Obama is the consensus builder that he says he is, which completely undermines two central messages being pushed by the McCain camp: a. that Obama is the most liberal senator in congress and b. that Obama is just a typical politician.

And in the process, Smith himself, rather than coming off as cool or even a team player, instead just ends up looking desperate.

Sort of makes you wonder whose side Smith's ad guy is on.

For more on the man who's going to retire Gordon Smith, check out Jeff Merkley for Senate online HERE.

Tags: Barack Obama, Gordon Smith, Jeff Merkley, OR-Sen (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

I love it!  As my honey just said to me, "It looks like he thinks Obama is going to carry Oregon."

Damn right.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-24 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

Now we just need to get an ad with Obama and Merkley together, to show that Obama is clearly behind Merkley and that Smith is just another GOP panderer.

by fbihop 2008-06-24 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

Agreed.  Although Obama's campaign noted that they supported Merkley b/c he'll "bring the change we need" to Washington.  

by bosdcla14 2008-06-24 07:27PM | 0 recs
Hah

Good find.  Looks like the Bush toxicity is even creeping into McCain.  This could be a huge clusterfuck of an election for the republicans this year if they would rather be associated with Obama than McCain.

by libertyleft 2008-06-24 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Hah

Yeah, well, McCain had the choice to suck up to Bush or to be a man.

He chose the sucking route.

by Bush Bites 2008-06-24 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

Its a really bizarre situation ,wonder why he did that .

Probably means Obama has a lock on Oregon .

"Barack Obama has a long record of bipartisan accomplishment and we appreciate that it is respected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate."

- Is that supposed to be sarcastic lol.

by lori 2008-06-24 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

probably has a lock?  I'd say definitely.

by fbihop 2008-06-24 06:52PM | 0 recs
Wow

Sounds like Obama is doing well in Oregon. Did any Republican cling so closely to John Kerry?

by RandyMI 2008-06-24 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

Look how far we've come in four years- from every Republican on record screaming about how liberal Kerry wanted to break into your house and steal your paycheck and force your son to marry the dog, to Republicans desperately trying to hop on the Obama bandwagon.

Never good to get cocky.  Ever.

But my prediction- this November's gonna be a blast.

by ihaveseenenough 2008-06-24 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

The pendulum has clearly swung. There is a great article from the Huffington Post today on RealClear Politics about why this happens.

http://www1.realclearpolitics.com/articl es/2008/06/obama_rides_the_wave.html

by dMarx 2008-06-24 06:32PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

Smith's add is shrewd. What is he supposed to do? Pretend like Oregon is going to McCain?  People understand that Obama is not going to endorse a Republican. It doesn't matter.  What matters is that Smith is setting himself up as a "different" kind of Republican.

by dMarx 2008-06-24 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

I guess.

But if Obama cuts a commercial for Merkley, Smith could end up looking a bit silly.

by Bush Bites 2008-06-24 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

This has been tried many times before.  I lived in North Carolina in 2004 when the Democrat running for Senate was Erskine Bowless.  He was going up against Richard Burr in the fight for John Edwards' old seat. At the time, Bowles tried to pull this same political shtick, only Bush was the incumbent President in a state where the war was very popular.  Basically, it was politically necessary to pay lipservice to Bush then, while Smith doing this now screams just how weak a positon the GOP (and Smith) really is in.

Needless to say it didn't work for Bowles in '04, and I wish Smith the exact same amount of luck with it today.

by hello world 2008-06-24 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

"Sounds like Obama is doing well in Oregon."I think so.

by anasky123 2008-06-24 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

I think he could have been a little more subtle in his ad, but really his general strategy is the only one that can save his skin.  The thing is, the same is true for a lot of Republicans running this year - but they haven't realized it yet.

For a Republican to win this year, they'll have to run hard to the left.  Must be pretty disorienting for them since only four years ago they were picking up seats in the House and Senate and our presidential nominee looked like he was running to the right because he he couldn't and wasn't criticizing the initial decision to go into Iraq.

It's all good news for us.  Please Republicans, talk about energy.  Talk about the environment.  Talk about how you are against the war.  Keep framing the debate this way and it will make sure people think Democrat when they punch their card in November.

by Daliant 2008-06-24 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

Even McCain is doing this somewhat.  Commercials about protecting the environment, etc.

I have some Republican co-workers, and whenever I find their political chatter irritating, I bring up all the progressive messaging that McCain is doing and say "I remember when Democrats had to do stuff like that, pretend they were members of the other party."  Never fails to stop them in their tracks.  

by bosdcla14 2008-06-24 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

Have there been any polls regarding Smith vs. Merkley?  I'd love to see Smith lose, but I truly don't see it happening.  I hope I'm wrong, but there really isn't any groundswell against Smith except from people who just oppose all Republicans on principle.  Plus he's got buckets of money.

I'd love to see it happen, but I wouldn't bank on it. I mean... just to be realistic.  

A lot of people on this board and others thought Merkley's opponent in the primary, Steve Novick, was going to win on Obama's coattails, and that didn't work out either.  I'm virtually certain OR will go to Obama, but highly unlikely that will be what unseats Smith... who in spite of his actual record truly is seen as a very centrist, moderate, independent agent.  I know he's actually NOT, but that is the perception of him in the general, not hyper-political population.

by Susan in Oregon 2008-06-24 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: OR-Sen: Gordon Smith Clings To Obama

The last poll was Smith leading 47-38. He has never been over 50% in any poll according to Pollster.com (49, 48, 48, 47, 45, 45, 47). It'll be tough but it is definitely winnable. His re-elect numbers are also very poor.

by conspiracy 2008-06-25 04:14AM | 0 recs

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