A wonderful little bit of political analysis was provided by AP reporter John Hanna over the weekend regarding Jim Ryun's request Lynn Jenkins hobble her primary campaign against him with a pledge to never mention him.
We've already made the same point, but it's always nice to have your sense of things re-enforced by outside forces.
Ryun, the congressman ousted in 2006, and his GOP rival, State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, filed for office hours apart last week. In between, Ryun issued his call for a campaign free of the negative attacks that he said tend to alienate voters.
Jenkins shows no signs of accepting the pledge, but if she did, it could limit her campaign against Ryun. If she rejects the pledge, Ryun is almost certain to point that fact out to voters in a bid for their support.
It's an unfortunate lose-lose for Jenkins. If she doesn't mention Ryun in her TV buys, she can't draw the distinctions between them that are going to be necessary in order for her to beat him. And, if she doesn't sign the "clean campaign pledge," Ryun's going to make sure every single person in the district knows she plays dirty. Neither place are places Jenkins should want to be. Hanna agrees:
Not mentioning Ryun by name would make it difficult to contrast Ryun's voting record with her positions. Ryun's clean campaign means one devoid of the criticism of him that needs to take root in voters' minds for her to win.
Thus, Ryun has reasons to call for a clean campaign outside of any desire to respect voters' sensitivities. He has the potential to gain an advantage over Jenkins, regardless of how she responds.
We also just love the false sentiment from Jim Ryun- he's just doing this for the voters! No, Jim, you're doing this in an attempt to save your own ass.
After months of trading jabs up and down the 2nd District, we can't expect anything different now that they're official candidates. We just can't wait for their pre-primary TV!
Jenkins was skeptical. She noted that last year, she was the target of ads by national groups, describing them as "buddies" of Ryun's. Ryun's campaign has said there was no coordination.
And, suggesting she wouldn't take the pledge, she said: "Unfortunately, everybody knows that Jim Ryun didn't do a lot for us in Washington, D.C."