Is Missouri's Todd Akin ready for prime-time politics?August 20, 2012 11:47 AM
Missouri's slogan says much about the political ethos of the state.
The "Show Me State," which prides itself on a mix of midwestern and southern sensibilities, has a practical, no-nonsense, 'don't tell me but show me' approach to politics.
And today even some conservatives have joined many Democrats in the state in thinking that the Republican candidate for the U.S. senate, Todd Akin, has clearly shown that he's not ready for prime-time politics.
Akin has apologized for remarks he made on the weekend in an interview where he was explaining his anti-abortion views. He mused about "legitimate rape" and said he had it on good authority that even in incidents of rape, women's bodies could prevent pregnancy naturally.
No need to go on further about any of that.
His apology is not good enough for most women or most Democrats who are keen to use the Akin comments as proof of a Republican "war on women."
The Romney campaign quickly made it clear it did not agree with Akin's comments and added that a Romney administration, though definitely anti abortion, would not criminalize abortions for women where pregnancy resulted from rape.
But Akin has delivered a body blow to a critical race for a senate seat and a Republican push to win control in the powerful congressional body.
The current senator, Democrat Claire McCaskill, was seen as vulnerable, and conservatives have been pumping cash and organizing might into the race for a year now. The official Republican party was bolstered by millions in spending by outside groups such as Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS and the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Until yesterday, McCaskill was seen as the underdog.
Now, there are local reports that even some Republican activists are wondering if they should ditch Akin and his too-right-for-the-fight views. (He won the nomination after a bruising primary.)
Today, at least, Missouri is in fact the show me state of this campaign. It is clearly displaying some of the flashpoints and fault lines of politics in Election 2012.