Friday, February 22, 2002

Hit Me Again

The following item appears today on the ABC News Political Note:

"...(A)s Elizabeth Dole announces her Senate candidacy in North Carolina tomorrow, Democrats will launch a newspaper ad tying her to the retiring Jesse Helms. The ad will appear in the Salisbury, NC Post, the paper of Dole's hometown. According to a party source, the ad plays off a recent Dole quote that she could think of no issue on which she and Helms differ. Democrats will hit her over Helms' being the only Senator to vote against Head Start; calling Medicare, Social Security and veterans benefits "welfare;" and voting consistently against Social Security."

What are we missing here? Senator Helms was elected five times by North Carolinians over a 30 year span. In 1990 and 1996, he received 53% of the vote. He is beloved by roughly half of North Carolina's voters and is the one of the strongest vote-getters ever in the eastern, Jacksonian counties of the state. So tying Liddy Dole to Jesse Helms makes sense in what context, exactly?