Senator Jim Talent voted against legislation that would expand federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. Talent was in the minority, as the bill cleared both the House and Senate. But President Bush vetoed the bill today, making the case that destroying human embryos to extract the stem cells for scientific research purposes is morally wrong. It's the first veto of Bush's presidency and analysts say an override of the veto is unlikely.
Talent sided with Bush in a battle that some politicos feel could become a wedge issue for Democrats. The national press is already swirling with speculation . . . how will this mid-July vote impact Missouri's sizzling U.S. Senate race?
The Christian Science Monitor says "it could play big."
McClatchy Newspapers . . ."McCaskill bashes him on the issue at every stop . . ."
Capitol Hill Blue . . . "Talent could lose his seat over the issue . . ."
Salon.com . . . Trial attorney abandons Talent over the issue
Newsweek . . . A political test for Talent (Ok, I partially chose this one because I made the picture . . . look to the left of the shot)
Of the dozen or more different write-ups I read on the stem cell battle this week, Senator Talent, his position and his race against Claire McCaskill was mentioned in every one. But will the stem cell issue really drive votes away from Talent? Or will it invigorate the conservative base in the Ozarks and drive votes to him?