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Their Brand In Crisis

How bad is the Republican brand, and by extension, John McCain's brand? Oregon's Gordon Smith, in one of the most endangered Senate seats, has a new ad touting a purported connection to a presidential candidate...

... Barack Obama.

Sen Obama issued a statement making clear where he stands:

"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. 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," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Has this ever happened before? An incumbent senator touting a connection to the opposing party's presidential candidate?