Skip to main content

Now this is what I'm talking about:

The ad is backed by a significant, six-figure statewide buy, I’m told. The spot tells the story of Pryor’s own battle with cancer, and features the Senator sitting alongside his father, David Pryor:

    DAVID: When Mark was diagnosed with cancer, we thought we might lose him.

    MARK: My family and my faith helped me through the rough times.

    DAVID: But you know what? Mark’s insurance company didn’t want to pay for the treatment that ultimately saved his life.

    MARK: No one should be fighting an insurance company while you’re fighting for your life. That’s why I helped pass a law that prevents insurance companies from canceling your policy if  you get sick, or deny coverage for preexisting conditions.

The spot represents an effort to shift the debate over the law away from the land of GOP talking points where it has resided so long — in this and so many other Senate races — and back to one of the fundamental moral imperatives driving health reform, i.e., protecting the sick and vulnerable from insurance industry abuse. Republicans have long sought to dominate in the anecdote war — stressing hyper-exaggerated horror stories about canceled plans and lost coverage — while refusing to acknowledge the existence of the law’s many beneficiaries. And Dems have been perhaps not engaged on this front forcefully enough, because in places where control of the Senate will be decided, pointing to the folks gaining coverage might not be compelling to the persuadable voters Obamacare has alienated.

In this ad, Pryor engages the battle over anecdotes by citing his own. Republicans have cast Pryor’s vote for the health law — and that of most other Dem incumbents — as proof  they are little more than Obama stooges. This ad pushes back by personalizing Pryor’s vote — its implicit message is that it wasn’t for Obama but rather was born of Pryor’s own personal experience and a moral obligation he felt towards those who might one day endure the same.

It is also in keeping with the larger strategy of Pryor and other Democrats, who are emphasizing their personal ties to the state, and their families’ political legacies and brands (hence the appearance of Pryor’s father), to survive amid a difficult national environment. - Washington Post, 8/20/14

This a great strategy, especially in Arkansas where the uninsured rate has dropped significantly under the Affordable Care Act. Pryor knows he's in a tough race and the GOP is gunning for him big time:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus touted Arkansas' role Tuesday in the party's fight to take control of the U.S. Senate, as he kicked off a series of visits to the state by national GOP figures over the next week.

Appearing with Republican Senate nominee and U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, Priebus criticized two-term Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor as too closely aligned with national Democratic figures. The GOP needs a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate, and Arkansas' heated Senate race is important to Republican hopes.

"If you want to stop (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid, you've got to actually fire Mark Pryor," Priebus said. "If you want to end this dysfunction in Washington, you have to fire Harry Reid. If you want better health care, better schools, you have to fire Harry Reid. You have to also retire Mark Pryor."

Priebus spoke to a group of volunteers at one of the GOP's campaign offices, appearing with 4th Congressional District hopeful Bruce Westerman and Attorney General nominee Leslie Rutledge. - News Observer, 8/19/14

But Democrats are hitting back hard at Tea Party extremist, Rep. Tom Cotton (R. AR):

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a new ad Tuesday, hammering Republican Senate candidate Tom Cotton over a vote he made against a funding bill for children's hospitals.

 It's the second ad hitting Cotton over the issue. The new ad targets Representative Cotton's vote on a bill that passed the House in February 2013, by a vote of 352-50. According to, it was an appropriations bill for "children's hospitals for expenses associated with operating approved graduate and medical training programs." Cotton's campaign responded with a statement from spokesman David Ray. He said, "Senator Pryor's Washington allies are doubling down on their false attacks. The truth is that no funding for Arkansas Children's Hospital was lost because of these votes, and Tom Cotton has voted repeatedly to fund pediatric research, including his strong support for the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act."

 The ad fires back at Cotton saying, "We can't trust him to stand up for Arkansas, or tell the truth." Cotton is running against Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, Libertarian Nathan LaFrance, and Green Party nominee Mark Swaney. - KATV< 8/19/14

Red state Democrats like Pryor aren't running away from the Affordable Care Act and they deserve our support. Click here to donate and get involved with Pryor's campaign:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 01:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site