A Few Thoughts About Todd Akin

I wish we knew with any certainty if Todd Akin is in or out as the Missouri GOP’s Senate candidate. I’ve got a Trifecta script to write about this thing.

But here’s the question that dogs me, and the one I’ll probably give to Scott Ott when we tape tomorrow morning. Pro-life candidates know they face a hostile media on the issue of abortion. It’s even worse for “no exceptions” candidates like Akin, who would outlaw abortion even for rape and incest. (I would argue that “no exceptions” candidates like Akin are even worse for women, but abortion isn’t really the subject here. Anyway.) In a long-form interview, no journalist worth his salt can resist asking the “No exceptions, really? Not even for rape or incest?” question, even if just to watch the candidate squirm. So someone like Akin must go in prepared. He must have an answer. It must be short. It cannot be compromising. And he cannot wander off into his pet theories about how women’s bodies function.

Akin was not prepared, on a very basic issue which also happens to be a very big issue in Missouri. It wasn’t that long ago that even Democrats had to be pro-life if they wanted to win a major office outside the two bookend cities of KC and St. Louis.

Akin was so unprepared, I’m forced to believe that if the abortion question hadn’t tripped him up on Sunday, it would have been some other question on some other day — even closer to Election Day.

He’s an unprepared candidate — unprepared to beat the most vulnerable Democrat in the entire Senate. Of all of Akin’s political sins, that one is probably the most unforgivable.