August 21 was the last day for Rep. Todd Akin to vacate the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, and allow Republicans to pick a new candidate. NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh issued a clear statement of disavowal. The party was walking away from the "legitimate rape" guy.
We continue to hope that Congressman Akin will do the right thing for the values he holds dear, but there should be no mistake – if he continues with this misguided campaign, it will be without the support and resources of the NRSC.
September 25 was the last day that Akin could have quit the race and allowed a court to handle the process of replacing him. One day later, NRSC executive director Rob Jesmer switches up the boilerplate.
As with every Republican Senate candidate, we hope Todd Akin wins in November, and we will continue to monitor this race closely in the days ahead.
"Monitor this race closely" is Washington-speak for "maybe spend money on it." Basically, Republicans bluffed and threatened Akin with a total cut-off because they wanted to replace him with a similar but less unpopular candidate. Akin, who owed national Republicans absolutely nothing -- even Sarah Palin endorsed somebody else! -- called the bluff. Now that the national spotlight has swung away, Republicans are looking for the least embarrassing way to help out Akin again, because it's tough to lose Missouri and win the Senate. Today's double-team Akin endorsement from Rick Santorum and Jim DeMint was part of that. So was Newt Gingrich's campaign swing. The margin between Akin and Claire McCaskill is only as big as a $500,000 Super PAC check from Foster Friess or Sheldon Adelson.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is
Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister
The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads
Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.
You Deserve a Pre-cation
The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.