Friday, November 03, 2006

At least a couple of honest Senate campaign commercials

By now, you're all probably sick of the campaign commercials and can't wait for the election to come and go so we don't have to put up with them anymore. These commercials are nothing more than "polishing a turd" by making a candidate look like something he/she may not be.

For example, here in Florida, our incumbent Democrat Senator Bill Nelson is running commercials where he looks polished and refined, proudly stating that "Floridians aren't looking for a Democrat or Republican solution. They're looking for solutions. That's why I have always worked hard to bring Democrats and Republicans together to get things done."

Huh? The guy is as partisan as they get: voting against the tax cuts that have jumpstarted the economy; voting to uphold every judicial filibuster (except for John Roberts and Miguel Estrada, the latter as a pandering move to Florida's Hispanic population); and a plethora of other partisan votes. Fortunately for Nelson, his opponent is the hapless Katherine Harris, so his re-election is a foregone conclusion.

Anyway, my point is that these commercials are invariably about making the candidate look better than he/she really is. Well, Time points out a couple of unique commercials, in that they're at least fairly honest...even if futile.
In other Senate races, two Republicans fighting to stay in the game are both up with ads acknowledging public frustration with Iraq:

-- In Washington state, Republican Mike McGavick, a wealthy former chief executive for a FORTUNE 500 insurance giant, is using the tag line "Real. Change." as he challenges freshman Sen. Maria Cantwell (D), who has supported the war. A new McGavick ad uses the President's former "stay the course" mantra as a slur on Cantwell and says: "President Bush doesn't understand our frustrations. It's time to be decisive. Beat the terrorists. Partition the country if we have to and get our troops home in victory. I'm Mike McGavick, and I approved this message.."
A Washington state Republican, turning the "stay the course" tables on Democrat Maria Cantwell? Slamming President Bush? No, I don't fault the guy, especially if he's speaking his mind and is sincere. That may not win him many friends on Capitol Hill, but polls show that he's likely not going to get there anyway.

--In Minnesota, three-term Rep. Mark Kennedy (R) is gaining ground on his opponent, prosecutor Amy Klobuchar (D), who has been up 15 or 20 points but is now up just 10 in a new Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minnesota Public Radio. Republican strategists say Kennedy gained ground with this fascinating ad, which tries to level with voters with perhaps the year's most memorable closers: "None of us like war. And we've made some mistakes in Iraq. We are facing an enemy that must be defeated. Leaving Iraq now will create a breeding ground for new attacks on America. That's the harsh reality. My opponent says the answer is diplomacy, but you can't negotiate with people who want to kill you. (Amen to that, sir! - Ed.) I'm Mark Kennedy; securing the peace is a lot harder than wishing for it; I approve this message even though I know it may not be what you want to hear."
You're right,'s not what Minnesotans want to hear. And it probably won't get you many extra votes, either. But kudos to you for being honest and straightforward about it, and for recognizing the nature of the enemy and the reality of Iraq. Too bad your state's citizens won't see it that way.