President Barack Obama appeared on Al Sharpton’s radio show today to send a campaign message seemingly calculated to drive folks like Sens. Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu to drink.

“Well, look, here’s the bottom line,” said Obama, “We’ve got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn’t win. And so some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. They are on the right side of minimum wage. They are on the right side of fair pay. They are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure. They’re on the right side of early childhood education.

“So, this isn’t about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. And I tell them, I said, you know what, you do what you need to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn up.”

Perhaps he was understandably unconcerned that many people would catch the Sharpton show live, but a veteran politico should know someone’s always listening (and that Sharpton would totally play it on TV later). Really, though, what is this about? Perhaps on the same day as his lackluster reception in Maryland (Maryland!), he just couldn’t let stand another suggestion that he didn’t hang the moon? There are plenty of ways for the Smartest President Evah to finesse this answer without giving Republicans the exact soundbite they need in a manner so explicit, they could have written it themselves. He can’t be bothered. Remember, this is the stuff he’s supposed to be good at.

As I’ve mentioned before, there’s maybe nothing that cheers me more about Republican prospects that Democrats acting so very, very desperate. You’ll hear not a thing about a tone of “unprecedented negativity” in this year’s ads because the worst examples are coming from endangered Democrats. But just because the press doesn’t report the pattern doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If one sticks to only the most obvious examples, one has a negative ad prominently featuring the empty wheelchair of a disabled man, suggesting he profited from his injury, and an ad implicating a Republican Senate candidate in Alaska in a double murder and sexual assault, which Democrat Mark Begich didn’t even bother to clear with the victims’ family, which is still awaiting the trial of the accused. Good, inspiring stuff. Not solely fear like Republicans rely upon.

In that vein, here’s some evidence that North Carolina might look better than the polls suggest.

Stay class, Hagan Democrats.

Update: Ha.