History often turns on silly, even stupid things. Ann Richards won the governorship of Texas in 1990 thanks to an idiot comment about rape from GOP nominee Clayton Williams. Now it’s looking like the Missouri Senate seat could remain in Democratic hands thanks to an idiot comment about rape from Rep. Todd Akin. Akin has appeared on at least two national radio shows today, Mike Huckabee and Sean Hannity, endured serious fire on the latter show, but pledged to stay in the race. BuzzFeed has the audio of that exchange here.
Hannity even asks Akin to get out for the good of the party. It’s fair to add, for the good of the country to that too, since every minute he stays in the race is another minute the Democrats can plan to use him as a whipping boy for the entire GOP. If that Senate seat stays Dem, the Senate itself is more likely to stay Dem, and ObamaCare is more likely to survive repeal attempts. The stakes are very high.
Akin has already lost support from the NRSC and Crossroads GPS, while the Democrats can be expected to flip their read on that seat from probable loss to winnable, and will alter their spending plans accordingly. They won’t even have to spend much money, when an ad that just plays video of what he said will do. Cut it, tweet it, done.
Akin’s comment has also taken the heat off two other stories that otherwise might have gotten more play today, Joe Biden’s career of saying monumentally stupid things, and President Obama’s shameless lie about his campaign calling Mitt Romney a “felon.” Akin is overtakin’ every other story in the political universe today.
No, this whole situation is not entirely fair. Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy survived far worse deeds in their political careers. But it’s life. He needs to go.
But Akin is saying he is staying in, while his political funeral may be being planned off stage.
He only has another day to get out, before the chaos.
I suspect that he’ll decide to spend more time with his family shortly.