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Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit “social advocacy” organization that acts as a shill for the GOP, is doing it’s thing and firing off the opening salvos in next year’s Missouri senatorial race in hopes of weakening Claire McCaskill in advance of the Republican primary. The latest ad, though, prompts Politico‘s David Catenese to ask if Crossroads might be shooting itself in its metaphorical foot. Although the ad attempts to saddle an imaginary McCaskell-Obama duo with “$14,000 of new debt” for every Missourian, it ends with a prominently displayed quote from MCCaskill stating that “all of us need to realize the debt is a real problem.” Catenese asks:

A casual observer doing laundry or on the treadmill may read that quickly and be left with the impression that McCaskill is … serious about the debt problem.

Personally, if I were McCaskill, I might take the ad as a partial gift, do nothing defensive, but somewhat further down the road, make my own ads excoriating the free-spending GOP who got us into a financial mess and exploded the debt in order to give their rich cronies a tax break. What do  you think?

UPDATE: PoliticMo tells us that with this ad Crossroads has spent $1.1 million dollars trying to soften up McCaskill. Her strategy:

While the ads are designed fire up opposition to McCaskill, McCaskill has tried to use the attacks as material to encourage supporters to contribute to her campaign.

“Rove and the anonymous billionaires funding his attacks have a lot of money – and they’ll use every cent to distort the truth,” McCaskill wrote in September, in a fundraising email entitled “Rove is Back.”

Catilin Legacki, spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, said the ads prove McCaskill has “stepped on the toes” of special interests in Washington.

“All of the attacks against Claire are going to be about distorting her record,” said Legacki. “[W]hy won’t this group say who is paying for these ads? Missourians shouldn’t believe what’s in them unless they know who is behind them.”

The last paragraph references the fact that, by claiming to be a social advocacy group addressing only issues, Crossroads manages to avoid disclosing its donors. If these ads are any evidence, they’re walking a might thin line in terms of their disclosure status.