The 2010 midterm election cycle has been a doozey. The campaign TV ads have often been the true game changers – destroying front-runner establishment candidates or raising the momentum for newcomer Tea Partiers.
One week from today, American voters will finally get to cast their ballots for their congressman or senator. As the midterm election season comes to a finale, we are highlighting the best and worst political campaign ads of 2010.
BEST CAMPAIGN ADS:
“Mourning in America” – National: This ad is by far the best of the election because of the combination of image and message which perfectly express the depressed state of our nation under Obama’s leadership.
The 60-second spot was produced by the group “Citizens for the Republic” in the style of Ronald Reagan’s iconic ad “Morning in America.” However, unlike Reagan’s optimistic message, this heart-wrenching ad shows the failed Obama initiatives have wreaked havoc on the United States.
The ad ends with these words: “There’s mourning in America. Under the leadership of President Obama, our country is fading, and weaker and worse off. His policies were ‘grand experiment policies’ that failed. This November, let’s choose a smaller, more caring government — one that remembers us.”
“Don’t Call me Ma’am” – Carla Fiorina (R) vs. Barbara Boxer (D) for California Senate: iorina’s ad, which is entitled “Sir,” points out Boxer’s arrogance as she demeans an Army General for calling her “Ma’am” instead of “Senator.”
“The Taxman”- Christine O’Donnell (R) vs. Chris Coons (D) for Delaware Senate: O’Donnell’s taxman ad effectively shows Coons record of raising taxes. This ad gets ranked in the best category for cleverly referencing the funniest (non-political) video of the year, Antoine Dodson’s “bedroom intruder” warning: “Hide yo’ Wife, Hide yo’ Kids.”
“57” – Ron Johnson (R) vs. Russ Feingold (D) for Wisconsin Senate: This simple and effective ad has Johnson writing on a white board. He starts with, “There are 100 members of the US Senate. 57 of them, including Russ Feingold, are lawyers. That would be fine if we had a lawsuit to settle. But we have an economy to fix.”
“We Are Better Than That” – Dale Peterson (R) for Alabama Agriculture Commission primary: Peterson’s good ole’ boy, straight-talking ad was so genuine that it put him in the race. He lost, but the ad has spurned amusing parodies in an election year that can use a few good laughs.
“For the Kids” – Joel Demos (R) vs. Keith Ellison (D) for Minnesota 4th congressional: Demos’ offbeat ads get the message across in a clever style. All Demos’ ads are kooky, but surprise the viewer with their effectiveness in conveying the failed Obama policies.
WORST CAMPAIGN ADS:
“Taliban Dan” – Alan Grayson (D) vs. Daniel Webster (R) for Florida 8th Congressional: Grayson defamed Webster’s character by associating him with Islamic terrorists in this campaign ad called “Taliban Dan”. Grayson takes Webster’s words completely out of context, and then associates him with religious fanatics in Afghanistan and Iran.
The nonpartisan Annenberg Public Policy wrote on its FactCheck.org site that “”Grayson has lowered the bar even further. He’s using edited video to make his rival appear to be saying the opposite of what he really said.” Factcheck.org also stated that “Grayson crosses the line when he uses manipulated video to cast Webster’s views in a false light.”
“Aqua Buddha” – Jack Conway (D) vs. Rand Paul (R) for Kentucky Senate: Conway’s ad is a close second for worst of this year because he slanders Paul by challenging his Christian faith. In his Senate campaign ad called “Why”, Conway asked, “Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her to bow down before a false idol and say his god was aqua Buddha?” The story is an anonymous source from college who later claimed the event was part of college hazing. The morally reprehensible ad backfired and supporters rallied behind Paul.
“I’m Not A Witch” – Christine O’Donnell (R) vs. Chris Coons (D) for Delaware Senate: O’Donnell’s effort to push back Coons attacks on her youthful interest in witchcraft was bizarre and worsened an already negative impression. In the ad entitled “I’m You,” O’Donnell starts by smiling and saying “I am not a witch. I’m nothing you’ve heard.” The ad only brought more attention to the witchcraft issue and was spoofed by Saturday Night Live.
So we have one more week to either enjoy or despise these best and worst campaign ads. Come November 3, we will be back to watching less controversial, less amusing, less powerful TV commercials.