Senate press conferences shouldn’t be for ‘mature audiences’ only

In recent years, plenty of Senate candidates have held plenty of press conferences, but yesterday in South Dakota, one candidate seemed to break new ground: an R-rated press conference that was vulgar by design.
U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Annette Bosworth warned that nobody less than 18-years-old would be admitted to her latest press conference.
The Republican candidate has held numerous press conferences throughout the month leading up to the South Dakota Primary Election. Now, she’s using a tactic that proves to be for mature audiences only.
Those who attended the press conference expressed shock upon walking into the venue, as they saw the graphic words used as a backdrop for the event.
The Argus Leader posted the full, half-hour event, though I should note its published warning: “Because of the language contained on some of the signs, viewer discretion is advised.”
Again, that’s not the phrase one usually associates with Senate campaign press conferences.
Apparently, Bosworth and her supporters found obnoxious comments about her “on blogs, on the Internet.” In order to denounce the vulgar criticisms, Bosworth’s team painted the obnoxious words on a wall and then had the candidate hold a press conference in front of the disgusting comments.
The Republican candidate insisted that the vulgarities are proof of progressive misogyny: “The Democrats talk about a war on women, but much of what you see is written by the supposedly tolerant liberals. Their message is clear: conservative women are fair game. If you are a female and a Republican, anything goes.”
There’s reason for some skepticism here.
The Senate race in South Dakota, where voters will choose a successor for retiring Sen. Tim Johnson (D), has a relatively crowded Republican primary, though former Gov. Mike Rounds appears to be the overwhelming favorite. Bosworth generally polls in the mid-single digits.
I don’t doubt that Bosworth, like many women seeking elected office, has found rude people saying offensive things online, but in general, liberals in South Dakota worried about this Senate race have focused the bulk of their attention on the competitive candidates.
For that matter, it’s an odd campaign pitch when a Senate candidate, the week before the primary, uses painted vulgarities as a closing pitch to voters.
Tom Kludt added that Bosworth’s campaign has been plagued by problems that are unrelated to hateful messages on blogs.
Bosworth’s campaign has been mired in turmoil. A medical doctor, Bosworth has been accused of underpaying a former nurse. She’s also been accused by the state attorney general of being out of the country on a missionary trip at a time when her nominating petitions indicate that she was gathering signatures.
After she was asked about the “so-called scandals,” Bosworth brought the discussion to the “surrounding of this room” and urged reporters to accept “the pretense that I’m not evil.”
At one point during the press conference, Bosworth asked to go off the record with reporters.
The press conference was being filmed and streamed online at the time.
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