The Democratic senator, who is seeking reelection in 2014, will begin airing a distinctive new TV ad on Wednesday in which the Arkansas lawmaker talks about the importance of Christianity’s holy book in his life. Speaking directly to the camera in a solemn tone, Pryor grips a Bible with both hands as he talks about how his faith—and not the directives of either political party—guides him.
“I’m not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in his word,” he said, in a TV ad first reported by KATV in Little Rock. “The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right. This is my compass. My North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what’s best for Arkansas.”
KATV reported the ad is running statewide and has “substantial” financial backing.
A spot so overtly focused on a candidate’s religion is rare. But extraordinary measures are necessary in Pryor’s case: He’s widely considered the incumbent Democratic senator most likely to lose in 2014.
His candidacy’s viability hinges on whether he can prove to his home-state voters that he shares their values and not those of President Obama, who won just 37 percent of the vote in the state last year. Few efforts drive that point home better than a TV spot focused on religion—many conservatives perceive Obama and national Democrats as secular, if not outright hostile to Christianity.
And it’s not the first time Pryor, one of the few Democrats who still opposes same-sex marriage, has used religion as an ally in his campaign. In 2002, when Pryor first ran for the Senate, he featured an ad in which he again held his Bible and said, “The most important lessons in life are in this book right here.”
The ad is the second memorable spot produced by the Pryor campaign of late, nearly a year before the midterm election. Last month, his campaign ran a hard-hitting spot about Social Security and Medicare. If there’s a lesson from the pair of TV spots, it’s that Pryor’s campaign isn’t wasting time trying to define him or his presumptive opponent, Republican Rep. Tom Cotton—especially as the problem-filled Obamacare rollout drags down Democratic approval ratings nationwide.
What We're Following See More »
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”