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An elected Obama-can?

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Republcian Sen. Gordon Smith, of Oregon, touts his affiliation with a leader of a national party -- it's just that it's not his own.

In Smith's new ad, "Truth," the opening line: "Who says Gordon Smith helped lead the fight for better gas mileage and a cleaner environment -- Barack Obama.

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"He joined with Gordon and broke through a 20-year deadlock to pass new laws which increased gas mileage for automobiles."

AP's take: "Republicans usually demonize Barack Obama in their political advertising, but GOP Sen. Gordon Smith aligns himself with the Democratic presidential candidate in a new ad, citing legislation they worked on to improve fuel efficiency standards. Observers in both parties said it appeared to be the first time in this election cycle that a GOP Senate candidate had aligned with Obama.

"The ad, responding to an independent Democratic ad linking Smith to high gas prices, credits Obama with saying that 'Gordon Smith led the fight for better gas mileage and a cleaner environment.' …

"Obama's campaign said the Illinois senator appreciated that his 'record of bipartisan achievement is respected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues.' But Obama is backing Democrat Jeff Merkley in the Oregon Senate race, said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton."