Waiting for the next episode of Scandal can be so hard, but we at Daily Intelligencer have found something that may make the time pass a bit quicker. There is this thing happening called the midterm elections, and while the vast majority of Americans aren’t tweeting about it or tuning in at all, it’s actually pretty interesting! ( … For a story that does not involve steamy affairs, election rigging, or federal officials killing each other with their bare hands.)
Today’s recap features plenty of twisty goodness, including a possibly fake feud between Chris Christie and Scott Walker, a candidate calling his opponent a “whore,” and a mysterious attack from beyond the grave.
Old Dog Tries Old Trick
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been dabbling with memes throughout the campaign, with results so disastrous that he’s basically a walking PSA for people thinking about reaching out to their grandkids via social media. Nevertheless, McConnell is hoping to soften his image in the last week of the campaign with a funny commercial about his efforts to make a commercial:
Bloodhounds! Great call back to McConnell’s first Senate campaign. Kentucky voters will definitely remember that one — if, unlike his 35-year-old opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, they were old enough to understand campaign commercials in 1984.
Don’t Stand So Close to Me
Senator Mark Begich, an Alaska Democrat, is in a tough race against Republican Dan Sullivan, so he would like to give voters the impression that he’s close with his popular Republican colleague Senator Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski sees their relationship a bit differently, to the point that she sent the Begich campaign a cease-and-desist letter when it used a photo of her with Begich in a campaign commercial.
Begich refused to take down the ad, explaining last week that the truth is they vote together “80 percent of the time.” “She shouldn’t be embarrassed about that,” Begich said of his old pal Lisa. “She didn’t like the photo. That’s what the letter was about.”
“That is belittling. … I think I made very clear that I had objections, serious objections, to how that ad portrayed our relationship. It was an implied endorsement, and I didn’t appreciate that. I think Begich knows where I stand in this race,” she responded. “Again, no means no.” Come on, if she doesn’t support Begich, why did she stand in his general vicinity during a press conference?
Money and Friends Don’t Mix
A recent report in The Weekly Standard suggested that the Republican Governors Association is skimping in its spending on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker because he’s RGA chairman Chris Christie’s potential 2016 presidential rival. Walker encouraged the rumors on Monday morning, complaining to reporters that outside spending supporting his campaign “pales” in comparison to the effort to defeat him. He also remarked that the New Jersey governor is only stumping for him this week because “he asked if he could come and we weren’t going to say no.”
Walker tried to smooth things over later in the day, saying his money gripes are “not a reflection on the RGA,” and Christie is “a good friend.” The Weekly Standard noted the two governors have been “actual friends, not the just political friends–for several years now,” and Bloomberg Politics suggests the “phony” feud is just a political move by Walker. Either way, we’ll surely read all about it in Game Change 2016: A Dance With Dynasties.
With Friends Like These …
Plenty of Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama in the midterms, but if you’re a Louisiana voter looking for a candidate who has serious reservations about most of her party’s leaders, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is the candidate for you. While Landrieu said in May that she would support Harry Reid if he runs for majority leader again, she said in a debate on Monday that she’s not so sure. “I am going to wait to see what the leadership looks like,” she said. “I’m not saying yes. I’m not saying no.”
In a gaffe the really puts Michelle Obama’s Bruce Braley/Bruce Bailey flub into perspective, on Monday South Carolina’s Democratic candidate for governor, state Senator Vincent Sheheen, had to apologize for calling his opponent a “whore.” The incident happened last week, as Sheheen attempted to say of Governor Nikki Haley, “we are going to escort her out the door.” That’s not how it came out:
“My mom’s around and I can promise you I don’t use that word, the word that … people are claiming that I’ve used. I don’t use it in private, I don’t use it in public,” Sheheen told Charleston radio host Bryan Crabtree on Monday. “But if anybody heard, and certainly my words were garbled … I apologize because I don’t want to send that message to anybody.”
Who Ya Gonna Call?
On Monday Foster’s Daily Democrat published an odd op-ed criticizing New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen. The piece by former state House Speaker Marshall Cobleigh references “skyrocketing gasoline prices,” refers to Missouri Senator Roy Blunt as a member of the House, and discusses offshore drilling moratoriums without noting the policies were reversed in 2010.
Upon further inspection, we should all cut Cobleigh some slack, as he’s been dead since 2009. The piece is a reprint of a column he wrote in 2008, and the New Hampshire GOP tells Bloomberg Politics that it submitted the op-ed “to highlight Shaheen’s blatant lies about her anti-nuclear power activism,” but did not intend for it to be republished. Still, if the GOP is really concerned about dead people voting, why are they letting them influence our elections?