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Congressman Tom Cotton of Arkansas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Can't you just feel the warmth oozing out of him?
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who is trying to unseat Sen. Mark Pryor this November, thinks he's getting a bad rap from Democrats. So Politico steps in to try to help rehabilitate his image.
EL DORADO, Ark. — Democrats are trying to turn the critical Senate race here into a personality contest, and Republican Tom Cotton knows he’s got a serious problem if they succeed.

In top battleground Senate races across the nation, Democrats believe their best shot is to frame the contests as a discrete choice between two people—as opposed to a national referendum on President Barack Obama—then make the Republican as repugnant as possible. Cotton’s response: an all-out charm offensive. He’s hosted a country music concert with Jo Dee Messina, invited a POLITICO reporter on a 5-mile run through the onetime oil boom town of El Dorado, given TV news crews tours of his family’s cattle farm and blanketed the airwaves with ads highlighting his softer side.

“I’m warm, dammit,” Cotton joked during an interview over breakfast here, when asked whether his efforts are meant to bolster his personal appeal.

And then a couple of dozen worth of Tom Cotton being a "warm" guy around Arkansas, with a few substantive nuggets buried within. Here's the thing, though: Democrats aren't running against Cotton's personality. They're running against his votes, which happen to be against farmers and against seniors. He might be the most personable guy in the world, but he has voted against seniors and he has voted against farmers.

And even in this Politico piece—buried deep within—he talks about his openness to privatizing Social Security, saying "everything needs to be on the table" to "modernize" the program and ensure it's "available for the next generation." His immediate solution for the non-problem of Social Security: raise the retirement age to 70.

That's the problem for Arkansas voters, the problem the Democrats are pointing out. This has nothing to do with a "personality contest." It has everything to do with Cotton's political ideology and his votes against his constituents' best interests.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 09:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Social Security Defenders.

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