Skelton didn't write or dictate the words. Instead, a pair of 23-year-olds in his congressional office were speaking for him over the Internet.
Skelton's entry into modern politics stemmed from a discussion a year ago with his longtime strategist, Michael Rowan, who warned him about the national mood. The GOP was painting Skelton as liberal for voting with Democratic House leaders.
"We had to raise some money, we had to hire the new people and run a very modern campaign," Rowan said. "He understood."
Last October, Skelton held his first town-hall telephone conference call, where he announced his opposition to the federal health care overhaul legislation. He also has begun an electronic newsletter and his speeches are uploaded to YouTube.
His leading Republican opponents, state Sen. Bill Stouffer and former state Rep. Vicky Hartzler, are using most of the same tactics. Skelton's opponent won't be known until the Aug. 3 primary elections.
Republican consultant Brad Todd says the GOP's chance for taking Skelton's seat depends on the size of the expected Repubican surge this November. If Republicans gain 20 U.S. House seats, Skelton's probably won't be one of them. If Republicans pick up about 50 seats — more than enough to retake the majority — Skelton's seat is likely fall, he said.
But Todd knows it won't be easy. "He's going to make us take it from him," he said.