Campaign advertising for local and state elections has its own charm, if not the slick messaging of more national efforts. This holds true, I think, in smaller states more than larger states. When I lived in California, every political ad appeared to be produced by Madison Avenue, with very little flavor of California and its districts.
Norm Coleman’s latest ad, “Why Not?”, shows that kind of local charm, even if it doesn’t say anything new at all:
The guys and I have been talking. We’ve read all this stuff about Al Franken: Not paying taxes. Going without insurance for his employees. Foul mouthed attacks on anyone he disagrees with. Tasteless, sexist jokes. Writing all that juicy porn. And we’ve decided we’re running for US Senate. Why not? We’re just as qualified as Al Franken, and we’re better bowlers.
Let’s first address what this ad isn’t — it isn’t anything new. Three guys bowling, using accents borrowed from Fargo, repeating the attack points doesn’t exactly scream fresh. With Coleman leading in the polls by a rather wide margin and Franken facing an unexpected primary challenge, one wonders why the Coleman campaign doesn’t focus more on its own positives rather than Franken’s negatives.
However, it does entertain, at least on the first pass, and the ad even gently skewers the image Minnesotans have of themselves, albeit fondly and very lightly. Maybe the worst thing the characters in this ad could call Franken is a lousy bowler.