You couldn't buy this kind of press from the St. Joe News:
Democratic congressional candidate Kay Barnes came to St. Joseph Tuesday night with a set of directions for Republican officeholders: President Bush is headed for the door, and incumbent Rep. Sam Graves should go with him.
The challenger for the Missouri 6th District seat spoke to more than 40 local supporters at the opening of her St. Joseph campaign office.
A native of St. Joseph and graduate of Central High School, Ms. Barnes recited a list of economic ills — rising food and gas prices, increasing health care premiums, escalating unemployment numbers — as an indication of the nation gone astray.
She asked if Americans had better lives now than when Mr. Bush and Mr. Graves took office in 2001.
“I’m willing to bet that very few of us would be able to give a very resounding ‘yes’ or even a very weak ‘yes,’” she said.
She accused the Bush administration of presiding over years when record budget surpluses became record deficits, when pork-barrel projects doubled in number and when five million more illegal immigrants entered the United States.
The Democrat said the Iraq war cost the 6th District more than $1 billion.
“Just think what even a part of $1 billion could do ... to improve the lives of people in Northwest Missouri,” she said.
Ms. Barnes cited British statesman Winston Churchill’s assessment that Americans can be counted on to do the right thing ... “after they’ve tried everything else.” In this election, she said, voters are ready for a new direction.
“The good news is that Americans know how to make change when it is necessary,” she said. “We have to make the change in Northwest Missouri.”
Though most of her speech aimed at Republicans, Ms. Barnes has an opponent in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary, though Ali Allon Sherkat of Riverside, Mo., has done little campaigning.
Mr. Graves, unopposed in the primary, is seeking his fifth term in the U.S. House. Dave Browning of Oak Grove is the lone Libertarian in the race.