Gordon Smith, a Republican US Senator from Oregon, is trying to ride the Obama train to re-election. Smith has a new ad running in Oregon that suggests that he has the endorsement of Barack Obama. While it's expected that Democrats are going to try and use Obama's momentum to get them elected into various offices, Smith is the first Republican running in a congressional race to do so.
The Obama camp told Smith thanks, but no thanks.
"Barack Obama has a long record of bipartisan accomplishment and we appreciate that it is respected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said after Smith's ad was released. "But in this race, Oregonians should know that Barack Obama supports Jeff Merkley for Senate. Merkley will help Obama bring about the fundamental change we need in Washington."
While this has to be a good early sign for Democrats, I doubt we'll see too much of it this campaign season. Smith is a fairly moderate republican (he has supported withdrawing troops from Iraq as early as 2006) and running in a VERY blue state (Oregon hasn't voted for a Republican in a presidential race since 1984 and only has one other Republican in Congress) that Obama is very popular in. In addition, Smith is polling at less than 50%, though he still leads his challenger Jeff Merkley.
In other words, not that many Republicans are going to be this desperate.
View the ad below.