Pat Powers continues to feed his desperate need to insult Rick Weiland. This morning he recycles his tired language about Weiland being an "awful" candidate. His latest attack spins around the shaky thesis that Weiland "shuns" President Obama and thus loses his Democratic base to Obama-loving Larry Pressler.

Reality check: I am Rick Weiland's liberal, Obama-loving base. I like Pressler better than Powers does (insult-addicted Powers today calls Pressler "foppish"), but there is no way Pressler pulls me from Weiland.

As "evidence" of Weiland's shunning the President, Powers says Weiland did not attend the President's visit to "a ND/SD Indian reservation." President Obama visited the North Dakota side of the Standing Rock reservation in June. I get the feeling that if Weiland had traveled to Cannon Ball, 40 miles north of the ND-SD border, Powers would have teased Rick for campaigning where no one could vote for him (and I might have, too!).

Powers the insult-fop (yeah, I can call names, too) doesn't address real policy differences between Weiland and Obama. If he did delve into policy, he'd find that where Weiland diverges from the President, Weiland is actually tacking even more strongly into the Democratic base camp.

Consider health care. Weiland affirms the merits of the Affordable Care Act, but he dings the President for not going far enough. Weiland says the President should have kept the public option on the table, and he supports creating a public option by letting anyone buy into Medicare. That's a great pitch to a Democratic base that craves gutsy Dems not accepting the GOP fear-narratives.

Or consider Keystone XL. The President has helpfully delayed the project, but he's never come out and said no to the Canadian tar-sands export project. Weiland has taken much firmer stands against the pipeline, again cheering the Democratic base.

Weiland agrees with the President on the need for net neutrality, although Rick was ahead of the President in speaking out on the issue.

Even Pat's own SDGOP handlers disagree with Pat's morning burp. The GOP calls Weiland a "loyal foot solider" of President Obama (pick a message, guys!)

Whoever Weiland may be losing to Pressler, it's not the Democratic base. Maybe it's Indies who lean left but get nervous about being called Dems. Maybe it's nostalgic old folks. Maybe it's just a figment of Powers's wishful imagination, lacking for original and accurate arguments to make. But as the campaign kicks into high gear, we'll dismiss the latter, and win over the former as they realize Weiland means business. Weiland is with the President on the good stuff, and where Weiland diverges from the President, Weiland is pushing for even stronger, gutsier Democratic positions that will be good not just for Democrats' aspiring souls but for South Dakota and the country as a whole.

Update 08:37 MDT: If any doubt as to Weiland's credibility as a candidate and a Democratic base booster, consider this announcement fresh from Team Weiland: Rick has just hired fiery Democratic consultant Steve Jarding as senior advisor and spokesman. Jarding works for winners, and he's working for Weiland. Now let's really rumble!