In addition to being known as the U.S. Senate nominee who conducted an extramarital affair out of the home he shares with his wife and two teenage kids, Democrat Cal Cunningham now also has the distinction of being the ball and chain who his state’s governor assured his party’s presidential nominee they would drag across the finish line.

Just two weeks out from election day, Joe Biden made a campaign stop in Durham, North Carolina, on Sunday where we learned, among other critically important things, what flavor milkshake he ordered from a local Cook Out.

Upon arrival at RDU, Biden was eagerly greeted on the tarmac by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), where they both briefly talked about Cooper’s family once visiting Biden’s home and knowing Biden’s late son Beau at the time when both served as attorneys general for their respective states.

As they talked, Cooper was also caught on a hot mic talking about how Cunningham’s situation was “frustrating” but that they would drag him over the finish line anyway.

“I think we’re gonna all get across the line. I think Cal’s gonna get across the line, too. I know that’s frustrating. We’ll get him across,” Cooper told Biden, who looked at the governor as he spoke but didn’t respond. Cooper kept nervously looking at the cameras, which may be why the conversation appeared to be cut short.


The embarrassing moment went viral on Twitter after being amplified by high-profile conservatives like Mark Levin:

Pool reports from the press managed to leave this uncomfortable part of the conversation between Cooper and Biden out for some strange reason:

In addition to that, McClatchy, which owns several NC newspapers, rejected two different attempts last week by the NRSC to run ads on their newspaper websites that mentioned the affair. This happened just two weeks after the Charlotte Observer ran interference for Cunningham by editing out parts of an editorial board interview that might make him look bad.

Perhaps the “we” Cooper referred to in the video as dragging Cal Cunningham over the finish line was the North Carolina political media in addition to Democrats. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Or maybe not so much Democrats, considering Cunningham’s not exactly a popular guy in Democratic circles these days:

Here’s the ad the NRSC wanted to run in the Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News and Observer:

Sen. Thom Tillis (R) himself has not let his foot off the gas to highlight the affair scandal’s military aspect.

His latest ad features military veterans talking about the “Code of Military Justice”:

Cunningham is an Army veteran, and his mistress Arlene Guzman Todd is married to an Army veteran.

The embattled Senate nominee is still refusing to answer questions from the press about the affair and will not confirm or deny allegations of a second, more long-term affair made by a former staffer of his state Senate steering committee in a Facebook comment two weeks ago:

It’s clear that Cunningham is trying to squeak through this scandal on the way to election day. Still, with the polls tightening down the homestretch, it’s unclear if this strategy will ultimately prove to be a “winning” one for the Cunningham campaign.

Stay tuned.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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