Want the rats out of Washington? Who better to elect than Hank, a cat that can smell ’em out and will be to quick to pounce on any opportunity to serve his constituents? The nine-year-old street cat wants Virginia’s open U.S. Senate seat — and he’s challenging former Virginia governors George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D) to get it. According to his official campaign materials, he’s “a proud Independent” with “real world experience, a unique point of view and limitless energy.” Plus, his campaign spot is one of the more positive ads I’ve seen this cycle, a reminder that America is “the greatest land of all.”

The ad I like, but I have a sincere exit question: Do stunts like this one — or Stephen Colbert’s campaign in South Carolina — make a mockery of the electoral process or do they provide a little needed levity in the midst of a serious and often discouraging season of politics?