If we’re already rolling out “Young Frankenstein” parodies in August, I can’t wait to see what’s in the chute for October. You may not recognize the candidate here — it’s Mattie Fein, who’s trying to bump off Jane Harman in CA-36 — but it’s a testament to the viral success of this year’s campaign ads that you might recognize the director. Remember Ladd Ehlinger, the auteur behind the greatest campaign ad ever? This is his latest, and despite its goofiness, it’s a clever approach. Half the battle in trying to take down a well known, well funded incumbent like Harman (her husband’s the mega-millionaire who bought Newsweek) is name recognition; if you send voters into the booth with a choice between two names they know rather than just “Harman and the generic Republican,” you’ve got an outside shot — especially in a year like this one. Fein’s goal here is purely and simply to make people sit up and pay attention. Mission accomplished.
Harman’s isn’t one of the 105(!) Democratic seats that Geraghty now thinks is in play, but she’s had some remarkably close races in the past. In 2000, she beat the incumbent by less than two percent and in the glorious year of 1994, she won by 800 votes. Fein will need help from a very big red wave, but good news: A very big red wave might well be on its way.