Using an extraordinary video featuring a woman whose face viewers can’t see, Todd Akin’s Senate campaign in Missouri is going directly at the group most likely to be offended by his “legitimate rape” comments: women.
“Women for Akin” has launched online at Akin’s campaign website under the tag line “We think for ourselves.” The group is expected to have its official kickoff Tuesday evening in Chesterfield, Mo., in Akin’s suburban St. Louis congressional district.
Leading the effort to bolster Akin’s support among women appears to be his daughter, Hannah, whose name is featured prominently on the “We Think For Ourselves” brochure posted online.
“He truly believes that “all men (and women) are created equal,’” Hannah Akin says in the brochure. “That he, as an elected representative, is ‘a servant of the people,’ is not just an empty phrase, but a belief that guides his life.”
The brochure features testimonials from five women praising Akin. Nearly all of the women provide only their first names. One is listed as a registered nurse, another as “Dr. Casey.”
Doctors are another group whom Akin offended with his August comments about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy. Akin claimed that doctors had told him it’s unlikely women who are victims of “legitimate” raped get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” In a TV ad broadcast a couple days later as part of Akin’s apology tour, he walked those words back.
“The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy,” Akin said in the ad. The doctor quoted on the We Think For Ourselves brochure doesn’t mention abortion or pregnancy, saying only that she stands with Akin because he “supports sensible health care reform.”
Another woman says she’s a mother of 13 from “a very pro-life family.”
But the most remarkable testimonial comes from “Kelly,” a single mother and “saved alcoholic” who says she met Akin at his son’s wedding, which she attended reluctantly.
“I had expected bad experiences with those who call themselves ‘conservative Republicans,’ and had no interest in meeting Congressman Akin,” she says on the brochure. “Not long into the evening, Todd approached me. He absolutely ruined my stereotype of a conservative Republican with his eagerness to meet me, to inquire about me, to make me feel comfortable and to converse with me about things that matter in life.”
“It’s rather humbling to admit that I nearly let preconceived notions and stereotypes define Todd as my enemy rather than the friend that he turned out to be,” Kelly continues.
Read the whole brochure here.
The Akin campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the “We Think For Ourselves” effort or the identities of the women featured. The campaign launched Monday afternoon with a web video featuring several of the women featured on the brochure as well as a host whose face can’t be seen. The video says the Women for Akin group will kick off Tuesday evening.
In keeping with Akin’s shoestring budget since the Republican establishment pulled financial support for his campaign, the video, brochure and website have a homemade feel. The site has its share of typos as well, such as this one at the very top: