It’s that time again — midterm elections are quickly approaching, meaning the abduction of your television by campaign interests is in full swing. Just in case you were channel-surfing, we bring you the best of the worst political commercials of 2010.
5.“Stealing Democracy,” which is sponsored by the Democratic National Committee, reflects a prevalent message we have been seeing in the lead-up to midterms: curses of the Chamber of Commerce for allowing foreign money into American campaigns. This advertisement, enhanced by its foreboding music and staging of an innocent American being robbed, exemplifies a smattering of the best features of the political ads we love to fear.
4. On that note, expect to see a continuation (from both sides) of shameless fear-mongering. This gem of advertising is from Democrat Pat Quinn’s campaign for Illinois governor. With its blatant reliance on pathos, this message from Quinn pays homage to a widely venerated canon in constructing campaigns: sensationalist, emotional appeals trump rational discussion of policy issues every time. Note the red text over horrific footage of animals being condemned to death. In this case, why present Quinn’s solutions for our flailing economy when they could equate opponent Republican Bill Brady’s politics with cruelty to our pets?
3. First off, the inherent classiness of this ad should be duly noted. Between playing on the Republicans’ favorite scapegoats and unabashedly twisting the already ridiculously over-played Muslim community center issue, the political sophistication here is astounding. So, who are the minds behind this? It seems that we’re going to be seeing a lot of these guys. The American Future Fund, based out of Iowa, is a group that describes itself as “a mechanism to communicate and advocate on the issues that most interest and concern [Americans that support conservative and free market ideals].” Conveniently, donors to the organization are allowed anonymity in their contributions. Thus, we’re not entirely sure who the big spenders are, but The New York Times has an idea.
2. Well, this is something truly refreshing. Just as we started to tire of the tennis game cadence of politics, the blame bouncing from left to right, Republican Senate candidate Spike Maynard from West Virginia threw quite the game-changer. His opponent, Nick Rahall, is still the root of all congressional evil, but his accomplice is unique this time. Rahall is sending jobs to China, of course! I mean, they only had to Photoshop one small detail into the picture of him posing by the waving Chinese flag. Also, props to whoever selected the music; not only is Maynard politically competent, he’s surprisingly culturally sensitive.
1. It’s a common election-time concern: candidates usually try to clarify issues that have been raised about their personal lives. But usually these alleged defamations are more along the lines of infidelity or youthful moral transgressions. Delaware Republican Senate-hopeful Christine O’Donnell is unique in this regard: she utilizes her airtime to announce her disassociation with witchcraft. I’m by no means an authority on the issue, but I believe I could say that this is the most seriously someone has tried to negate such claims since 17th century Salem, Massachussetts.