Campaign ’08: The Missouri Report

ImageWelcome to a new column here at For the next couple of months, until the election in November, I will be posting a news report at least once a week detailing how the election is playing out in the state of Missouri, a key swing state.

Some of it will be based on opinions on the candidates from voters in Missouri, or even just myself, while the other part will be based on actual news coming from the state, as it will be a hotbed of campaign stops until November. Let us commence.

This week, Joe Biden made campaign stops in Columbia and St. Louis, MO. While speaking in Columbia, he discussed stem cell research and the typical Republican view on it. “I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect,” he said “Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?” Since Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin has a 5 month old child with Down syndrome, the McCain campaign jumped all over the statement, insisting that it was a political low blow aimed at the Alaskan governor. Biden responded back that it was ‘a clash of policies, not a clash of personalities’ and stated that his point was that he hasn’t heard any difference between the McCain/Palin campaign and the Bush Administration on medical breakthroughs, especially concerning stem cell research.

Analysis: The McCain campaign is trying to cry foul and play the victim here, but I’m not sure it is going to fly. Palin, in her acceptance speech, stated that people with special needs children would have an advocate in the White House. However, she has also stated that she is morally and thus politically, opposed to embryonic stem cell research. This brings her at odds with her running mate, who supports such research.

Therefore, it is a valid question to be asked of her. Also, Biden didn’t specifically point out Palin. Yes, it can be construed that this was directed at her, but it can also be assumed that it was directed at the Republican Party in general. It would be nice if the Democrats pose the question to McCain: ‘If you support stem cell research, why would you pick a running mate with a viewpoint that is the polar opposite of yours on this matter?’ It would also highlight that the McCain campaign knew very little of Palin before choosing her and that they are having to find out certain things on the fly in the middle of a very close and heated race.

Well, we haven’t had a major poll take place in Missouri since prior to the conventions, so I cannot tell you where the state stands on the race, at least per present polls. However, Missouri did go with Dubya back in 2004, where he got over 53% of the vote. Polls prior to the conventions showed McCain with a small lead for the most part. Also, from checking out the Op-Ed sections of the major papers in Missouri (St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City), it seems like McCain/Palin are getting slightly more support from voters out there than Obama/Biden.

I would foresee that Obama and Biden will be visiting this state as often as possible thru November. While vast areas of the state are very conservative, the feeling could be that if Obama can get Democratic voters to turn out in Kansas City and St. Louis (very Democratic, especially within the city), as well as the college town of Columbia, they might be able to turn the state for them.

Well, I should be back within a few days. At that time, I will discuss more about the race and how it is playing out in Missouri. Also, I will discuss the latest complaints and accusations the McCain campaign has levied against Obama (specifically about the ‘Lipstick’ comment) and how Obama feels McCain is trying to ‘Swift Boat’ him.

One Reply to “Campaign ’08: The Missouri Report”

  1. The issue is not stem cell research. The issue is federal funding, with taxpayer money, for research using cells derived by destroying human embryos. Like most defenders of the latter, Joseph Biden does not distinguish between adult stem cell research, which virtually everyone supports, and embryonic stem cell research, which has too many medical, ethical, and moral pitfalls, and which many, and _not_ just conservative Christians, quite rightly oppose.
    I hate to take the side of the obviously unqualified Palin, but in this case the McCain campaign is quite right to cry “foul”.

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