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Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014

Akin's comments will prove to be costly

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If you thought Joe Biden's "put them back in chains" comment was stupid, it pales by comparison to Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comment this weekend.

With one stupid slip of the tongue, Akin may have well assured that the Democrats will remain in the Senate majority.

I always thought Akin was the weakest of the three GOP candidates running in the Senate primary to face incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Apparently the Democrats also thought Akin would be an easier opponent since they actually put money into the race to slam the two other candidates.

So the Democratic strategy worked and Akin won the primary by a slim margin.

Akin last week was discussing a question on abortion rights when he said the following: "First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Now honestly, if that's the best the GOP can offer to take on McCaskill, perhaps they deserve to get beaten.

I have always admired McCaskill but I disagree with her unwavering support of this administration. I don't truly think many of her positions accurately reflect the sentiments of Missouri voters.

My hope was that the Republican primary would produce a true conservative alternative and give Missourians a choice between continued support of the Obama agenda or a new approach.

Akin quickly went into full damage control and said he "misspoke," which is political talk for, "I opened my mouth and confirmed I had my head where it should not have been and now I'm trying to clear this mess up as fast as I can."

The upcoming elections are critical - perhaps as critical as any in my lifetime. And by all accounts, the Senate and House races may well shape the direction of the federal government in the coming years.

Akin was thought to be one of the handful of GOP contenders with a good chance at unseating an incumbent Democrat in the Senate. A switch of just four seats across the country would tip the balance of power back into Republican hands.

But Akin took a giant step backward and now his battle against McCaskill may be a bit more uphill than expected.

I wouldn't know Todd Akin if he walked into my office door. Like most Missourians, I know him only through media accounts and a small amount of background information.

But what I do know is this - Akin's odd comment on "legitimate rapes" will haunt him from now until Nov. 6.

And somewhere in the McCaskill camp, the troops are jumping for joy over a gift handed to them by a "misspoken" comment.

The GOP support for Akin just went from lukewarm to slightly tepid. Though Akin never enjoyed overwhelming support in this race, his chances just took a turn south.

Of all of the candidates, who would have expected Akin to have a Biden moment?

Not the Missouri GOP!

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen