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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Akin

Despite his devastating gaffe, Akin says he will stay in the race. Slate reports:
Republican Todd Akin made a return trip to Mike Huckabee's radio show on Tuesday, again making it clear that he has no intention of ending his Senate campaign in Missouri despite calls from his own party to call it quits.

"We are going to continue with this race for the U.S. Senate," the Missouri congressman said. Barring a surprise change of heart, Akin's comments effectively stop the countdown clock that was ticking toward the 5 p.m. (local time) deadline he faced to exit the race if he wanted to spare his party a host of likely bureaucratic hurdles should he later call it quits.
His decision comes in the face of a remarkably swift and united GOP and conservative effort to get him out.  CNN reports:
Five past and present Republican senators from Missouri, including highly regarded names such as John Danforth and Christopher "Kit" Bond, added their voices to calls for the embattled candidate to get out of the race.
"We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race," said the statement by Sen. Roy Blunt and former senators Danforth, Bond, John Ashcroft and Jim Talent. "The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside."
The latest call signaled that Akin stood alone in wanting to remain in the race.
Top Republican officials -- including Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus -- also have signaled that the six-term Missouri congressman should withdraw.
Yesterday, National Review editorialized:
Most Republicans who hold the view that unborn children have a right to life regardless of the circumstances of their conception will have the wit to explain themselves in a way that prevents most voters who disagree from vetoing them for that reason.

While Akin is a stalwart conservative and an honorable man, we regret to say that he inspires no such confidence. That is one reason why Senator Claire McCaskill, the sitting Democratic senator, boosted him during the Republican primaries with ads calling him a “true conservative.” She knew that she is the weakest Senate incumbent on the ballot this year and that her only hope was to draw a weak opponent. Akin won a three-way primary with a plurality of the vote; there was no run-off. McCaskill’s strategy is now paying off.
Akin has backed off from his remarks, albeit with the politician’s excuse of “misspeaking.” People who make such remarks on television are typically capable of making more like them, or rather incapable of exercising the judgment to refrain. We suspect that this same lack of judgment will cause Akin to blow past tomorrow evening’s deadline for him to leave the race and allow the Republicans to select a better nominee. We hope the congressman, who surely wants to see a Senate with as much conservative strength as possible next year, will prove us wrong.