What do you do if you're a Republican incumbent in a blue state that the Democratic nominee for president is almost certain to win? Put out an ad making it look like you and that Democrat are best pals.
This is an obvious response to Gordon Smith's dwindling lead in the polls. The Obama campaign's response? "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."