In a move that's that's hard to make sense of in strategic terms, National Republican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brad Dayspring has gone out of his way not only to attack Sen. Susan Collins's challenger Shenna Bellows, but to link her to the popular left-leaning online community Daily Kos:
"Susan Collins is a strong, independent woman, and an effective legislator who always puts Mainers first. If the Daily Kos declares statehood, Shenna Bellows would fit in well, but in Maine she's way too far outside the mainstream for independent minded voters," he said.
Predictably, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas is having none of it:
1) [...] The national GOP is way outside the Maine mainstream. Objectively so.
2) Shenna Bellows grew up without electricity in rural Maine. Her dad's a carpenter, her mom's a nurse. So try to paint her as an outsider at your own peril.
5) If Dayspring had been magnanimous, I wouldn't be writing about this race right now. The last thing Republicans want is for buzz to start building around this race. They want it to remain sleepy, out of people's minds. Instead of having people follow a link to Shenna Bellows' campaign website.
Why Collins's NRSC allies would want to boost the prominence of the Maine Senate race among the national left-leaning grassroots--and to do it in a way designed to tweak activist Democrats, implicitly linking it to the national battle between Republicans and Democrats--is hard to fathom. Espcially given the track record at Daily Kos for grassroots fundraising.
But every time Collins and her allies go after Bellows it seems more likely that they see her as a real threat.