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July 31, 2008

Gordon's Democratic friends

Republican senator Gordon Smith can’t get enough of gratuitously mentioning his ties to high-profile liberal Democrats as he runs for reelection in Oregon.

One month after he touted his work with Barack Obama in the Senate to fight for better gas mileage, he’s invoking both Obama and John Kerry in his latest advertisement.

“Families need help. That’s why I choose to reach across the aisle with John Kerry to protect homeowners from foreclosure, with Barack Obama for better gas mileage,” Smith says in the ad. “And when President Bush tried to cut Medicaid, the Oregon health plan, I said no.”

At this pace, Ted Kennedy will be offering a testimonial on Smith’s behalf.

Smith is facing a challenge from Democrat Jeff Merkley, and polls show the race neck-and-neck. Smith does have a significant financial advantage, and he's been using it to swarm the airwaves with ads touting his independent image.

Of course, Smith’s opinion of Kerry was quite a bit different in 2004.

"I've often said it's not John Kerry's fault that he looks French, but it is his fault that he wants to pursue policies that have us act like the French," Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon said Thursday.

"He advocates all kinds of additional socialism at home, appeasement abroad, and what that means is weakness for the future," Smith told reporters on a conference call organized by Bush's reelection campaign.