As I have said before, you have to credit Missouri's junior Senator Claire McCaskill. There she was Monday night in front of millions touting the accomplishments and life struggles of Sen. Barack Obama on his road to the Democratic nomination for president. Not bad for a relatively new political force from a blue state.
And, in fact, the Obama story is a fascinating one. Born of a Kenyan father and a white, atheist Kansan mother, he was raised by white grandparents in Hawaii, then schooled in some of the most prestigious schools in this country. He served as a community activist in Chicago, was elected to the Illinois congress then the U.S. Senate and now is on a march to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. It is far from the typical American story but it's an amazing rise by any definition.
And I don't fault Sen. McCaskill for putting the most positive spin possible on the Obama story. That's her man and that's her job. She does it well.
But in explaining her undying support for Obama just prior to the speech, McCaskill made a statement so phony, so inaccurate and so misleading, it begs a response. The junior Senator said that Barack Obama shares more in common with more Missourians than does Sen. John McCain. What's amazing is that she said this with a straight face.
McCaskill and others need to stick to the script and keep repeating the mantra of hope and change. When they deviate, they get into hot water.
Barack Obama and his home base of Illinois share a common border with Missouri. Beyond that, he might as well be from Mars.
Obama is pro-choice unlike the overwhelming majority of Missourians. His Senate voting record gives him the distinction of being the most liberal senator in Washington. Missourians trend from moderate to conservative with the conservative wing holding the majority.
Obama supports gun control and gay marriage. Put those two issues to a vote in Missouri and see the results. Doesn't sound to me like Obama has more in common with Missourians. Does it to you?
Ask Missourians if they want higher taxes to pay for more entitlements. Ask Missourians what they would have done if their preacher had incited hatred for this country and branded white politicians as devils.
About the only issue in common with Missourians is a strong desire to end the war in Iraq and to bring our troops home. But even on that universal front, most Missourians do not favor the timetable for withdrawal that Obama supports.
The truth is that other than vague, generic musings of hope and change and promise, Obama has nothing in common with most Missourians. Sen. John McCain may have a bucketful of faults and views that run counter to most Missourians but he's much closer to the views of more Missourians than Obama by a wide margin.
Give Sen. Obama credit. He's a wonderful story of accomplishment and achievement. Set aside the question of his Muslim heritage. Set aside his association with convicted terrorists. Set aside some questionable business dealings in the past.
Obama is a strong family man, a tireless worker and a bright mind. He's charismatic and polished and a great speaker.
But Sen. McCaskill and Sen. Obama, I know Missourians and you sir are no Missourian in your thinking or your policies. To promote that you are is a cheap political trick that insults Missourians.
To steal a tired expression, if Sen. Obama wants us to think he's like us, he's going to have to show me. Thus far, he has not.