"[Jim Sasser is] sending Tennessee money to Washington, to Marion Barry ... While I've been transplanting lungs and hearts to heal Tennesseans, Jim Sasser has been transplanting Tennesseans' wallets to Washington, home of Marion Barry."
Marshall properly notes, in response: "Marion Barry, as I said in the post, was a rotten mayor. Corrupt, drug-using, the list goes on and on. And one can't get into a situation where one can never criticize a black politician for fear of being tarred as using a racial code word. But look at the line and tell me what on earth this had to do with a Senate race in Tennessee. I think the answer is obvious: nothing."
Well, sure, but I think he's missing something: Marion Barry wasn't even D.C.'s mayor in 1994. Sharon Pratt Kelly was. Barry had been out of the mayor's office since the beginning of 1991, and was not elected mayor again until November 8 of that year, the same day as Frist's election. For the prior two years, Barry was a member of D.C.'s City Council, however.
So Frist was attacking Sasser for someone who wasn't even mayor at the time? Who was just a member of a weak city council? And even instead of attacking Sasser for sending funds to D.C.'s then-current ineffective mayor (who herself happens to be black), Frist reached back four years to remind Tennessee voters of D.C.'s former mayor, the crackhead. If the slam seemed tenuous before, I think it's even worse now.
Senate Majority Leader Arlen Specter. It's only a matter of time.