Big day for gonzo political ads, although this one’s less funny than the Steve Ferrara spot.
1. Not a great end to “The Left Is a Roiling Mob of Dangerous Rage Junkies” Week for the GOP. Yes, Wagner’s speaking metaphorically, but had his party affiliation been different this certainly would have made a Republican supercut of “left-wing mob” soundbites. Steve Scalise has already scolded him for it.
2. As many Twitter chatterers have noted, threatening to stomp someone with golf cleats almost amounts to a parody of the stereotype of the well-heeled country-club Republican.
3. What on earth is he doing in this video? He’s rambling like Kanye in the Oval Office. And the setting makes it seem as though he has five dollars left in the bank and can’t afford real political ads. Or that he was driving down the highway, saw the Tom Wolf billboard, and decided to pull over and just … vent for a few minutes. Then, apparently, he watched the clip and thought, “Upload that sh*t.” What?
No wonder he’s trailing by 17 points.
Speaking of which, Benjy Sarlin makes a point worth noting here:
Separate from whatever civility angle people are going for right now, the more interesting story is why Trumpy candidates are doing so poorly in PA after he won the state https://t.co/cuSwzyLl3K
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) October 12, 2018
Not only is Wagner getting crushed, Lou Barletta’s down by almost the same margin in his bid to unseat Bob Casey. Barletta has all sorts of populist cred: He started work in construction, built his own business, then got elected mayor of Hazleton, where he made his mark as a border hawk. If Trump could steal Pennsylvania from Hillary two years ago, you’d think that Barletta could at least make a race of it against an incumbent as dull as Bob Casey. (Yes, granted, Casey’s family is a dynasty in Pennsylvania but the Clintons were a dynasty too.) No dice. Trump was in the state two days ago to campaign for Barletta, in case you’re looking for reasons for optimism about a poll turnaround. But he was there in early August too and Barletta’s fortunes didn’t improve afterward. If Barletta and Wagner end up being washed away next month, Team Trump’s going to start worrying about PA. Especially if their 2020 opponent ends up being Joe from Scranton.
Update: Wagner is sorry, sort of.