A Candidate’s Best Friend? The Bible.

Trying to define himself early, Mark Pryor turns to his faith.

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 12: Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Product Safety and Insurance Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AK) testifies before the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill September 12, 2007 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee held a hearing about the government and business reaction to the recent recall of millions of toys produced by Mattel and other companies in China.
National Journal
Alex Roarty
See more stories about...
Alex Roarty
Dec. 4, 2013, 4:45 a.m.

In polit­ic­al ad­vert­ise­ments, most can­did­ates use people close to them—par­ents, grand­par­ents, spouses, and friends—as char­ac­ter wit­nesses. Mark Pry­or uses the Bible.

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 »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
4 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
4 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×