Another anti-Obama attack ad

For the second time, a Republican candidate in Mississippi uses Barack Obama to strike at his Democratic opponent.


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Alex Koppelman
May 5, 2008 9:25PM (UTC)

As I noted earlier, a Republican effort to hold a congressional seat in Louisiana by using attack ads focused on Barack Obama seems to have failed. In just over a week, we'll have another data point to see whether the Republicans' anti-Obama strategy has any legs.

On May 13, voters in Mississippi's 1st Congressional District will go to the polls for a runoff that will decide who will fill an open seat there. They're choosing between Republican Greg Davis and Democrat Travis Childers. Davis had previously hit Childers for having been endorsed by Obama and not denouncing the words of Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Childers responded by distancing himself from Obama, and he ran an ad of his own in which he said, "My family has heard the lies and attacks linking me to politicians I don't know and have never met."

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Davis has released a new ad on the subject, which slams Childers for trying to get away from the previous attack. That new ad can be viewed at the bottom of this post.

The Politico's Ben Smith has what I think is a pretty sharp look at the broader implications for Obama from these kinds of ads. Smith writes:

The downside to Obama for these ads -- running in races across the South -- is that they suggest that Obama is in the process of being transformed, in the public eye, into an earthbound political figure, a Democratic leader, not some sort of post-partisan one.

The upside for Obama is that they're running largely in districts Democrats have no business winning, and they have the effect of yoking Obama to the DCCC in a year when House Democrats are very much on offense. If the Democrats win this GOP district in the deep South, Obama will get to join the victory lap.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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