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New Blunt ad portrays president and Democratic rival as job killers

U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, Missouri's Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, marked Labor Day by launching a new ad that focuses on jobs and features the owner of a St. Louis dry-cleaning store.

But arguably more significantly, the ad includes what the GOP believes may be a magic word this election season: Obama.

"Robin Carnahan supports the Obama agenda. I don't,'' says Blunt in the ad, referring to his Democratic rival.

Republicans nationally and locally believe that President Barack Obama and his policies are unpopular enough that that little detail is needed to get across their point that the GOP is opposed to most everything that the president stands for.

The ad opens with a shot of Laurie Psaris, owner of Orpheum Cleaners in St. Louis, a family-owned business. But she doesn't speak. Rather, Blunt talks for her, telling the viewer that Psaris would like to hire two more employees but "the uncertain cost of government-run health care and job-killing ideas like a new energy tax are destroying job growth."

Blunt is referring, of course, to the federal health-care law that calls for individual mandates by 2014 and offers tax breaks to small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time workers (or the equivalent in half-time workers), with an average wage below $50,000. He also is talking about the energy/anti-pollution bill that passed the House last year but is stuck in the U.S. Senate and is expected to die by the end of this year. Blunt's campaign contends the measure would kill thousands of Missouri jobs, presumably because it discourages use of coal.

Blunt asks the viewer to visit his campaign website to read his "comprehensive plan to help create lasting and family-supporting private jobs in Missouri," his campaign says.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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