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
Add to Briefcase
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 »
PLENTY OF MISTAKES IN COVERT TESTS
Report: U.S. Ill-Equipped to Detect Dirty Bomb
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

A DHS report "found gaping holes in domestic nuclear detection and defense capabilities and massive failures during covert testing." A team put in place to assess our readiness capabilities found significant issues in detecting dangerous radioactive and nuclear materials, failing to do so in 30 percent of covert tests conducted over the course of the year. In far too many cases, the person operating the detection device had no idea how to use it. And when the operator did get a hit, he or she relayed sensitive information over unsecured open radio channels."

Source:
WON’T INTERFERE IN STRUCTURING NSC OFFICE
White House to Give McMaster Carte Blanche
6 hours ago
THE LATEST
RESTROOM ISSUES RETURN
Trump To Rescind Trans Protections
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Donald Trump is planning to reverse an Obama-era order requiring that schools allow students to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity. Trump "has green-lighted the plan for the Justice Department and Education Department to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to schools rescinding the guidance." A case is going before the Supreme Court on March 28 in which Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student, is suing his high school for forbidding him to use the men's room.

Source:
NAIVE, RISK TAKER
Russia Compiling Dossier on Trump’s Mind
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."

Source:
“HORRIBLE” AND “PAINFUL”
Trump Addresses Threats On Jewish Community Centers
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login