Obama's The #1 Lib?

OBAMA'S THE #1 LIB?....Be prepared to hear about this, over and over again, for quite a while. If Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination, it will be the staple of every Republican stump speech between now and Election Day.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal's 27th annual vote ratings. The insurgent presidential candidate shifted further to the left last year in the run-up to the primaries, after ranking as the 16th- and 10th-most-liberal during his first two years in the Senate.
If all of this sounds a little familiar, it's because in 2004, National Journal named John Kerry the most liberal senator of 2004 (John Edwards was fourth), which became one of the principal talking points of the Bush-Cheney campaign, repeated at literally every campaign rally for months.

Already, this is getting plenty of play, and for all I know, this might even help Obama in the primaries, because there are plenty of liberal Democrats out there who want some reassurance that Obama really does stand with them.

But before anyone takes the National Journal rankings at face value, it's worth noting how very flawed the methodology is. Indeed, it was misleading in 2004, and it's equally misleading now.

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