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'Big Oil Bob' vs. Flip-Flopping Udall

Every day seems to bring another neat campaign trail microcosm of how the energy issue is playing out nationally. Today's Exhibit A is the Colorado Senate race, where Rep. Mark Udall (D) and ex-Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) are battling it out to replace retiring Sen. Wayne Allard (R). Each side is playing its role in the energy debate to perfection, with the GOP accusing Democrats of blocking or waffling on drilling, and Democrats tarring Republicans for their support from the oil industry.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is out with a new ad inviting viewers to "Meet Big Oil Bob." Take a look:

This spot hits all the usual visual notes: belching smokestacks, suitcases full of money and grainy, black and white footage of Schaffer, presumably plotting how to do the bidding of the oil companies.

But Republicans have an attack opening of their own, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee is sending reporters this story from the Politico, headlined "Udall shifts views on offshore drilling." The GOP has been having a field day in D.C. and on the hustings lambasting congressional Democrats for their opposition to drilling. Now that Democrats, including Udall, appear to be changing their tune, Republicans are shifting to calling the majority a party of wafflers.

There appears to be some political merit to both sides' approaches. Polls do show that a majority of Americans want more oil drilling, but they also show that most voters blame "Big Oil" and/or President Bush for high gas prices. If you want a sense of which argument is more potent, keep an eye on the Colorado race.

UPDATE 2:20 PM: It turns out there's another new ad, and another new nickname, in this contest. The conservative group Freedom's Watch has a new TV spot attacking Udall for missing the vote during the last week the House was in session on the adjournment resolution, which passed by just one vote as Republicans complained that the chamber shouldn't recess without voting on oil drilling.

The ad is called "Skip," and it dubs the Democrat "Skip Udall." Enjoy:

By Ben Pershing  |  August 19, 2008; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Comments

what else would we expect of the "republican" supported "Vets for Freedom" they are not a non partisian veterans group, they are supported by Rove and friends, Ari Fleischer, etc, look at the candidates they support in 2008

http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/pac/

they don't even mention what party they are running with except for the conservative blue dog democrat from Georgia, they are just as deceptive as ever and want people to believe they endorse veterans for America, all you need is to watch Pete Hegseth on Hardball with Jon Stoltz of VoteVets.org and you can see the truth for yourselves

Posted by: Mike | August 19, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Udall's biggest hope here in Colorado is that maybe this time the voters won't believe the sleaze that the GOP is spewing. Schaffer's campaign or whoever is putting out these advertisements is certainly getting their point across; I know that I've seen their negative ads at least a dozen times in the last month. It seems amazing that Schaffer was able to leave public service to become a millionaire working for an oil company and then come back to run on the issue that made him rich, high energy prices.

Posted by: Thomas Fiore | August 19, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Mark Udall's support for removing the private and secrete ballot and replacing it with a union thug with a post card and a pen in one hand and a baseball bat in the other is the issue that will end his Colorado bid. He is too in bed with special interest lobbying groups of Big Labor and trial lawyers.

Posted by: Skeeter | August 20, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Democrats please do not cave on the issue of off shore drilling in places like Florida and California. Anyone with half a brain knows this will not bring down prices of gasoline anymore than the discovery of oil on the moon. Fight this issue with adds showing beaches covered in oily muck and the cost to tourism and the fishing industries. They want to fight dirty, let's give them their own oil muck to bask in!

Posted by: Tom | August 20, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Democrats you need to start hitting below the belt. Want to turn the tide on McCain and his war edict; show an add with pictures of flag draped coffins and dead civilian Iraqis. Have American Combat Vets speak out against McCain in the add. Then show a mushroom cloud. John McCain like George Bush will not stop until he gets his own War. Is this what America wants, what it needs? Tell McCain the Vietnam war is over and done with, McCain is hell bent on nuclear war!

Posted by: Tom | August 20, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

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