No one in politics last week lost more popularity than Todd Akin. The six-term congressman from Missouri’s second congressional district set off a storm of controversy when he stated that women rarely got pregnant from what the congressman termed “legitimate rape.” This outraged millions of people nationwide, as well as women’s groups and rape crisis centers.
There were calls for him to drop out of his current race for U.S. Senate, which has him faced up against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.
Todd Akin was born July 5th, 1947, in New York City, and grew up around St. Louis. He graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, where he earned a degree in engineering, graduating in 1971. He later served in the Army, and then found himself working in his family’s steel business. In 1984, Akin earned a divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary and became determined to make public office his pulpit. He was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives representing St. Louis’ district, and was re-elected to that legislative body every election cycle after that time. Akin was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2001. As part of his duty in the U.S. House, Akin serves on the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on the Budget as well as the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
After the news of his comments made the airwaves, Akin claimed that he misspoke and that he would continue his campaign for the Senate. However, social media was abuzz with indignation for the Congressman’s comments for days afterward.
One event this week may turn out to benefit two men – Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. After several of the state primaries, Paul’s supporters were able to have themselves named as delegates to the Republican convention in Florida. This led to an impasse, as they were expected to vote for the libertarian congressman for president rather than the former Massachusetts governor. The RNC originally refused to seat any of the Paul delegates, angering many, including the current governor of Maine, Paul LePage, who (as of Tuesday) is still refusing to attend the convention if his state’s delegates are not seated for the nomination. The Paul and Romney camps, however, appear to have come to a compromise (for everywhere but Maine) which will allow many of Paul’s supporters to vote at the nomination, although they will likely not have enough support to win their candidate a speaking spot, much less the nomination.
What they did get, however, was a video tribute to the retiring congressman, a primetime speaking slot for his son, Senator Rand Paul, and an addition to the Republican platform calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve, a key plank of the Paul campaign. What Romney got in return is the (near) promise of a quiet convention. With over 10,000 Ron Paul supporters expected to be in the area for the nearby PAULFest, the danger of a turbulent convention has likely been quelled.
(U.S. State Dept photo)