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Massachusetts candidate mocks 'good ol' boy' Barbour

First, read Ben Smith's roundup of the snippy battle between the Republican Governors Association and the campaign of Massachusetts independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill. The best part comes when Cahill consultant John Weaver, dishing to Smith, smacks back at the RGA.

Tim Cahill, the only fiscal conservative in the race, has a right to defend himself. And he has done so obviously effectively or the beltway wonders wouldn't be acting like scalded apes. This kid at the RGA sounds like he could scare a third grader, but I was working with Haley when he was in diapers to elect Republicans and conservatives.

The cause of the fight -- a web video from Cahill that mocks RGA chairman Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, with the theme from "The Dukes of Hazzard" and the Confederate flag, firing back at the RGA's negative TV ads by suggesting Barbour is bellying in unfairly. It's too early to tell whether the RGA has successfully lowered Cahill's poll numbers to help the GOP's candidate, Charlie Baker. But they spent a lot more money on them than Cahill did on this.

So, having successfully dragged the RGA into a brawl, the Cahill campaign ups the ante with a local news clip of Baker battling back against the idea that he's a social conservative.

"He's pro-choice," says Baker, speaking first in the third person. "He's pro-gay rights and pro-gay marriage. He selected an openly gay man to be his running mate in the Republican party, in the Republican primary. I think it's pretty hard to argue that I'm suddenly turning into a social conservative."

Between this and the embarrassing case of Steve Levy in New York, the Democrat-turned-Republican who claimed the RGA was ready to spend $10 million on his race, it's been, I think, the first ugly media week for Barbour's RGA. The Cahill campaign in particular seems incredibly adept at fueling this and trying to disqualify Baker with conservative voters.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Chait is enjoying the "good ol' boy" attack.

By David Weigel  |  May 7, 2010; 10:37 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Election  
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