"I Beat A Sitting President Over the Cause of the Babies!"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 6 2012 11:33 PM

"I Beat A Sitting President Over the Cause of the Babies!"

ATLANTA -- My phone rang shortly after 10:20. Randall Terry was on the line, ready to report on how his under-the-radar, pro-life Democratic presidential campaign had humiliated Barack Obama in Oklahoma.

"We have carried 12 counties over a sitting president," said Terry. "If I get 15% I will get delegates to the Democratic convention." He paused for emphasis. "I beat a sitting president over the cause of the babies! Barack Obama's promotion of the murder of children will cost him the White House in 2012."

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Terry had been running, without much notice, for months. Some media paid attention when he bought a Super Bowl ad. The ad was sort of the point of his campaign. As a candidate, with special privileges to bypass decency laws, Terry could run images of aborted babies in prime time.

But in Oklahoma, a state full of yellow dog Democrats who dislike the president, Terry could do more. He spent 16 days in the state, attempting to embarrass the president. "That's the mission, baby!" said Terry. "Run an Obama suppression campaign." Thanks to Democratic rules, which start awarding delegates to candidates who poll at least 15 percent, Terry was on track to actually win some, maybe embarrass Obama some more. "I will have delegates from Oklahoma, and we will fight tooth and nail to get them seated at the convention, for the sake of the unborn, for the sake of pro-life Democrats." In the meantime: Ads in North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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