'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.
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:
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