Appealing to black voters, McCaskill plays up link to Obama
The Kansas City Star
Over the weekend The Kansas City Call newspaper - primarily distributed in the city’s black-majority neighborhoods - contained rare photos of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
It was the same scene, repeated in black and white and in color: McCaskill beaming while holding raised hands with President Barack Obama.
It’s unusual to see in 2012 because McCaskill certainly didn’t play up her close ties to Obama during her most recent campaign against Todd Akin. Obama didn’t make high-profile visits to the state to try to help her defeat Akin, even though the Democratic control of the U.S. Senate could hang in the balance with every tight race in the nation.
And while McCaskill’s re-election website contains plenty of photos of her campaigning, you won’t find any prominently displayed of her being with Obama.
Instead, McCaskill has run a campaign that has included stressing her more (and real) moderate roots, while especially trying to appeal to the rural, mostly white voters in Missouri. And those rural, white voters are not strong Obama supporters, based on polling done for The Star in the state.
But to win support from Kansas City’s black residents, the McCaskill forces turned the tables and showed how she and Obama can be good friends, with the implied support flowing both ways.
Politically, of course, there’s nothing wrong with different messages going to different audiences. In this case, because it involves McCaskill’s association with the president of the United States, the difference in the selling job just becomes a little more jarring.