Norm Coleman has released his latest ad in his re-election bid against Al Franken for the Senate.  This ad takes a different direction than his last few entries, choosing a much more serious tone — while ignoring his opponent:

Wyatt was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor, which is a form of childhood kidney cancer in February of 2004. On a routine screening, they found a spot on his right kidney. We knew that there needed to be more research done for Wilms’ Tumor, because the drugs that we were using were drugs that were developed in the 1960s. We attended a meeting for CureSearch, and within two hours of being in the meeting, we knew that there was no funding for childhood cancer. We had eight meetings that day, and Senator Coleman’s office was the last meeting of the day. We knew before we left his office that he was going to help us do something about the lack of funding for Childhood Cancer. And then in the months after that, Senator Coleman authored the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act. Senator Coleman is a lifeline for every family of a child who has been diagnosed with cancer. He’s not just my Senator. He’s my friend.

Kris Rech had reason to celebrate yesterday, as President Bush signed the CCCA that Coleman wrote.  The Coleman campaign released the video yesterday in connection to the bill’s passage into law.

What does this ad tell Minnesotans?  For one thing, it looks like Coleman has decided to focus more on his own service than on the peccadilloes of Franken.  That has a lot to do with Franken’s sinking in the polls, with some showing him 15 points behind Coleman.  It also looks like Coleman’s campaign has decided to get away from the idea of outperforming Franken in humor, which really isn’t all that hard to do anyway.

The ad is careful in highlighting his service to Minnesotans as well.  Coleman doesn’t talk about pork-barrel projects, which given the mood right now would be a huge mistake.  Instead, he shows how he has focused on Minnesotans (and Americans in general) who needed a boost and how he made that happen.  Some conservatives may quibble about the federal government’s role in medical research, but in this state, this will play very, very well.  Coleman made the system work for Minnesotans by taking his job seriously — and that’s a winning message here for a man who has a commanding lead already.