A U.S. Senate campaign nears the finish line

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

In just a week, the critical midterm election will be over and, unfortunately, the campaign will begin anew.

If you naively thought that somehow we would get a reprieve from the non-stop political campaigning, think again.

Regardless of the election outcome, political turmoil will remain in full swing as hopefuls officially launch their bid for the Presidency.

The political theater ahead will make this midterm look like child's play. That much is certain.

I spent time this weekend watching the latest debate between incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Both candidates held their own, but I have to give credit to Sen. McCaskill. She's a polished speaker and well versed on just about every issue under the sun.

She shuns the label of "liberal Democrat" while pointing to her record as a bipartisan who is more than willing to cross the political aisle.

But Hawley points out with some accuracy that on critical votes such as Obamacare and Brett Kavanaugh, she clearly walks the progressive line.

They're both right.

As I have said repeatedly -- ad nauseam actually -- the eyes of the nation will be focused on the Missouri Senate race come next week. And in my election memory, I cannot recall an election with as much interest in our vote.

Though the political arena will continue to heat up, we will at long last have a respite from the candidates' television commercials and get back to ads for adult diapers and My Pillow.

But speaking of campaign commercials, I found it interesting that the McCaskill campaign was taking a unique approach to promoting the incumbent senator late in this campaign.

McCaskill has a commercial featuring an assortment of military veterans touting her assistance to their needs.

But one of the veterans utters a line that caught my attention.

Speaking on her behalf, the veterans says, "You don't have to like her ..."

I've been involved in political campaigns for nearly 50 years. Probably have lost more than I've won.

But I've never considered using a line like that to promote a candidate.

In yet another television commercial, the speaker points out proudly that McCaskill is not one of those "crazy Democrats."

I tried to put together a list of those "crazy Democrats" the commercial must have in mind but the list was simply too long.

Perhaps this level of honesty is the missing ingredient in current political strategy.

Both Hawley and McCaskill will make a final run this week to woo those few remaining undecided voters. Surely there can't be many.

The President reportedly will visit our area to promote Hawley while McCaskill stumps in our region as well.

I agree that McCaskill is not one of those "crazy Democrats." But sadly, she votes with them far too often.

And regardless of the commercial, I like Claire McCaskill. I just don't like her voting record on issues of importance to me.

Michael Jensen is the publisher of the Standard Democrat in Sikeston, Missouri.

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