The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



GOP Senate Candidate Latches Onto Obama

By Jonathan Weisman
Just last month, Democratic Mississippi House candidate Travis Childers was trying to wriggle out from behind Barack Obama's coattails, under which the national Republican Party was trying to smother him.

Now look who's riding those coat tails: Embattled Republican Sen. Gordon Smith (Ore.) released a television advertisement yesterday seeking to link himself with the presumptive Democratic nominee for the presidency.

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

The ad flashes to an image of Obama's face and the Illinois senator's website.

The ad is all the more striking since recent polling from Oregon suggests that, while Obama may have a lead, the race in Oregon is competitive relative to the other west coast states, California and Washington.

And tomorrow in New Hampshire, Democratic senatorial candidate Jeanne Shaheen will be campaigning with Michelle Obama, whom Republicans have been trying to brand a political radical and a Democratic liability.

At least for the moment, and in some parts of the country, Obama does not appear to be the downticket drag Republicans were counting on. Indeed, if anything, now it's Obama who is trying to shake his coattail grabbers.

"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," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said after Smith's ad was released. "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."

Posted at 11:19 AM ET on Jun 25, 2008  | Category:  Battlegrounds
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Republicans keep on trying to make race an issue. They keep stooping lower and lower!

Posted by: James Davis | June 25, 2008 11:07 PM

Barack Hussein is a politician who will do or say whatever he has do or say to get elected....But we all know Barack is truly a friend of black supremacists that hate America. Yes, we all remember the videos of his congregation for 20 years and of his religious leader, Jeremiah Wright, when they were in explosive celebration after the horrendous attack on America on 9/11.

Barack Hussein is hiding the truth from americans, but we all know he truly shares the same views as Jeremiah Wright and their wish is to overtake the government of the United States of America and change America to meet their dreams of black supremacy over whites.

The time has come for americans that love our country to come together and defend our country against the most dangerous threat ever: Barack Hussein Obama and his congregation of hate for America.

The time has come for all americans that love our country to vote for John McCain and save our country!

Posted by: Manolete | June 25, 2008 6:54 PM

Obama Republican, that's what I like to see. It's not about what side your on, it's about what has happened to this country. Bush has been selling it off piece by piece to fill his own pockets. How can this guy spend billions of dollars of taxpayer money to fight a war for oil contracts, and we get zip and the oil companies get rich. If Obama gets elected he should take the oil companies over until our debt is paid. Bush has some nerve telling us social security is going to run out of money while taking us to the poor house. He belongs in jail.

Posted by: HemiHead | June 25, 2008 6:45 PM

Obama is the first Democrat I will vote for in my life. He is a man of principle, intelligence, bipartisanship, and good character. I like this guy.

Posted by: Obama Republican | June 25, 2008 6:00 PM

Ah yes, I'm sure that Obama is right on every position. After all, in just about every photo of him, he's looking up, knowingly, to the heavens.

Posted by: KathyYou know what s | June 25, 2008 4:03 PM

I will certainly be voting Obama. He's clearly the best man for the job. McCain is simply too old. He can't handle the daily grind of being president, the travel, etc. A vote for McCain is a vote for his VP. I cannot vote for his VP, because he/she didn't generate all the excitement in this election! Obama did that. Simply put, he can handle the job of being the president. People worldwide prefer him and so do I. The citizens and the leadership can't wait to welcome him as our president. America has lost that prestige and I'm glad Obama can get that back. Actually have people glad to see us coming again. He's a global citizen who happens to be American. We are so lucky! He'll be the first global president. These are Obama's times, he'd be a leader with his peers (other leaders of the same generation leading their countries) on the world stage, he has an understanding about how our new world works and where it's going, etc. McCain doesn't have a clue. His time has passed. McCain is also very dry and boring on television. He puts me to sleep, instantly, everytime he's on. McCain also looks nervous and clueless on just about everything. I thank him for serving, but that's all. Just because he served or was a POW, does not mean he should be president. I also don't trust McCain on Iraq or anything military, because he has a rotten temper he's trying to cover up everyday on television. I'm voting Obama.

Obama 08!!!!!

Posted by: Vegas | June 25, 2008 3:37 PM

the point isn't "having reached across the aisle." Anyone can attach their name to a piece of legislation sponsored by someone else, same party or otherwise.

The point is having taken part in bipartisan actions that entail political risk. John McCain suffers today from the contempt of many in his party for daring to deal with some of the most radical members of the opposition on legislation. That is the test of fortitude and courage that proves him to be the personification of that which Barack advocates.

Learn more at

Posted by: Todd Feinburg | June 25, 2008 3:18 PM

As a gay man I can't support Obama. He uses anti-homo speakers who profess the re-education of gays. He defined marriage as a "man and woman" only concept. He is pandering to the Black communities' fear and hatred of homosexuals, a very ignorant and conservative view. The biggest growing HIV population right now is black males who are notorious "down low" homosexuals, hiding from their wives, girlfriends, and families. This is a huge step backwards in liberal and educated societies. People are dying from this fear and ignorance, and Obama isn't man enough to stand up to the conservative Black church members who profess this stupidity. I'm going to the only party left, the Green one. No Black or White for me.

Posted by: Tom in Boston | June 25, 2008 2:31 PM

Obama is our savior...First, before attempting to disparage others, you should learn to spell; a little thing oversight from your prior schooling - but an important thing when you are attempting to smear someone with the ignorance, and self-loathing that oozes from your brain and attempts to pass it self off as understandable human thought. Barack Obama is strong believer in educational opportunities for all, even supposed adults such as yourself. In fact, his election as President may present you an opportunity to transform that cesspool that you mistake for thoughts into something slightly resembling an enlightened human mind of the 21st century...Naw.. just kidding! that may be too big a personal challenge for you to undertake.

Posted by: | June 25, 2008 2:03 PM

* He has also worked on death penalty reform in Illinois, for example the mandatory recording of all interrogations of suspects in capital crimes. Requiring recordings when the death penalty on the line is always going to be in the best interest of justice.

* After all Senator McCain's years in the Senate fighting lobbyists and standing up against earmarks, it was Senator Obama who co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to reform ethics and lobbying in Washington. I respect Senator McCain's efforts, but this is a true response to criticisms that Barack Obama hasn't reached across the aisle or worked on any landmark legislation. In an election season where even the Republicans claim to be selling change, ethics reform and limiting lobbyists' access to legislators are a major action for positive change.

* Another bipartisan effort of Obama's would create an internet database of federal spending. This is a great step for transparency and true accountability in government. I don't know how anyone could really be against such a thing, especially in an age when the amount of pork-barrel spending nationally is estimated to be $29 billion.

* Washington State for Obama 08 also has a great pdf flyer available for download here, it details his work during his years in the state and federal government. Rather than spin and punditry, here's what he's worked for and gotten accomplished.

Posted by: nick | June 25, 2008 2:01 PM

I think only person who can bring real change in this country is Barack. Rep. has great opportunity in 8 years but they blew that one. Now it is ironic to see them begging attention from Obama.. lol.

Posted by: jay | June 25, 2008 1:45 PM

cant wait t6o see the old inner citys burn election night!

Posted by: hillbillyhoward | June 25, 2008 1:40 PM

"All now begin to see the magnifisence that is our Messiah and Lord Barak Hissien Obama! All praise his name! Please, evryone, make Obama president NOW. If not we will only prove Michelle, Reverend Wright are right, God D*** america. Don't be bitter whitey, vote for Barak!"

Ahhh... the intelligent insight of the right. Keep it up: it's this exact idiotic attitude that is causing Republicans to get killed at the polls.

When y'all wake up out of your moronic stupor and return to being ACTUAL CONSERVATIVES instead of blind-partisan wankers, people might start listening to you again.

Posted by: Bob Smith | June 25, 2008 1:35 PM

Shawn: I totally agree with you -- this red vs. blue polarity is not helping anyone. It's high time we stop labelling each other and engage in some true dialogue -- listen to each other instead of vilifying and fighting each other.

Posted by: KH | June 25, 2008 1:17 PM

Dear American Patriot:

You said: "Please! Name one bipartisan accomplishment?" of Obama.

Here are five:

In 2006 Obama led the bipartisan Fuel Economy Reform Act, together with: Joe Biden (D-Del.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)

Obama also teamed up with Richard Lugar to promote nuclear non-proliferation, and they also sponsored legislation to "to seek out and destroy surplus and unguarded stocks of conventional arms in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East."

Obama worked with Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn on a lobbying reform bill. In addition, Obama and Coburn created a bill the makes records of federal spending more accessible to the public. The bill set up a database that tracks where federal dollars are being spent and which contractors receive federal funding.

Obama also promoted a proposal to replace the present ethics Committee with a bipartisan commission of retired judges and members of Congress, which would allow any U.S. citizen to report ethics violations.

Posted by: KH | June 25, 2008 1:13 PM

Dear "Obama is our Savior"

It is spelled "Hussein" not "Hissien"

His name is spelled "Barack" not "Barak"

And America is always spelled with a CAPITAL "A"

But it's not your fault that lord forgot to give you a brain and KKK has no remedial English classes.

Posted by: In California | June 25, 2008 1:12 PM

I don't know much about Republican Sen. Gordon Smith (Ore.). I guess it's for Oregonians to decided if they want to keep this guy by judging him on this issues and his integrity.

But I believe Barack Obama's movement is big enough to allow Republicans in as well. I'm tired of this red vs blue bs. Most Americans, republican or democrat want out of Iraq, most Americans want our troops home, most Americans want the 3 billion a week spent on that war to be spent here at home, or not spent at all since we are borrowing this money from are 'good' and 'most generous' friends the Chinese which by adding to our 9 trillion dollar debt (it was 3.5 trillion when Bush entered office). How nice...

Posted by: Shawn | June 25, 2008 1:11 PM

All now begin to see the magnifisence that is our Messiah and Lord Barak Hissien Obama! All praise his name! Please, evryone, make Obama president NOW. If not we will only prove Michelle, Reverend Wright are right, God D*** america. Don't be bitter whitey, vote for Barak!

Posted by: Obama is our Savior | June 25, 2008 12:52 PM
Your jealousy is oozing out your orifice-DUFUS!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 1:04 PM

Oregon needs OBAMA first and the help of MERKLEY too. For all your politeness in this ad, Mr. Smith, you have had your chance to make a positive difference, and now it is time for someone else to actually get it done. We wish you well in retirement.

Posted by: benighse | June 25, 2008 12:52 PM

All now begin to see the magnifisence that is our Messiah and Lord Barak Hissien Obama! All praise his name! Please, evryone, make Obama president NOW. If not we will only prove Michelle, Reverend Wright are right, God D*** america. Don't be bitter whitey, vote for Barak!

Posted by: Obama is our Savior | June 25, 2008 12:52 PM

What an opportunist! First he flip flops on the Iraq war right after the mid-term election sent a warning shot to all Republicans. All of a sudden, the Iraq invasion was a terrible mistake and the war has been horribly prosecuted. Gee Gordon, where was the foresight, leadership when it mattered? Smith voted with Bush greater than 90% of the time.

Now that he's seen more than 75,000 people at the biggest Obama Rally in the country in Portland, he can't get close enough to his buddy, Obama. "Oh yeah, we're great friends and work together all the time! I'm with him!"

The Republicans are getting desperate. Smith will lose and lose big in November.

Posted by: thebob.bob | June 25, 2008 12:40 PM

"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," Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Please! Name one bipartisan accomplishment? He must have gotten Obama confused with McCaine.

Posted by: American Patriot | June 25, 2008 12:36 PM

New details on Obama and McCain's ad buys helps us figure out where the two campaigns intend to contest the election:

Posted by: Dan | June 25, 2008 11:33 AM

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