The worst campaign ad ever?

It’s simply stunning in its sheer desperation. It’s so bad that I’m writing this post at nearly 11 pm in Rome to make sure it goes up on the site tonight. This isn’t just a bad campaign ad — it may very well be the worst, most cynical campaign ad ever. And the award goes to Wendy Davis, who’s about to get trounced by Greg Abbott, and this shows why:

An empty wheelchair?  Making an argument that Abbott profited off of his disability? The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake tries to remain objective, but … come on:

This as is the sort of highly risky gambit you only see from a long-shot campaign. And, as often as not, these sorts of “Hail Marys” fail miserably.

If if does backfire and Davis wants to run for office in the future, you can rest assured this one will stick with her.

We’ll come back to that point in a minute. First, Abbott’s campaign also argues for the historical low mark in a statement sent out to the media this afternoon:

“It is challenging to find language strong enough to condemn Sen. Davis’ disgusting television ad, which represents a historic low for someone seeking to represent Texans. Sen. Davis’ ad shows a disturbing lack of judgment from a desperate politician, and completely disqualifies her from seeking higher office in Texas.”

Or anywhere else than Texas, too. Even the ad considered to be the most demagogic ever — the once-run-only “Daisy” ad from LBJ against Barry Goldwater in 1964 — didn’t exploit a personal disability and suggested that it was a profit-producing enterprise. The Abbott campaign also produced plenty of evidence debunking the rest of this despicable smear. Abbott’s intervention in the case cited by the ad was to defend the constitutionality of the state’s tort-reform law, which as Attorney General was Abbott’s job. His briefs never touched on whether the surgeon in the case was negligent, merely pointing instead that the law required a finding of actual specific intent to moot the limits on damages. The reason it became necessary for Abbott to intervene in the first place was because the lawsuit against the hospital and surgeon challenged the constitutionality of the tort-reform law.

Perhaps Wendy Davis isn’t familiar with what an Attorney General does.

As far as sticking with Davis, this ad should stick to all Democrats in this cycle who don’t condemn it and demand that Davis retract the ad and apologize. We’re still playing by Todd Akin rules, right?

We should be — and we should start demanding that the media treat both parties equally in the one-candidate’s-actions-applies-to-entire-party game. In the meantime, just marvel at the level of desperation and cynicism this ad demonstrates, and keep it bookmarked — because we won’t see its like for a while. And we may likely not see Wendy Davis backed by her party for any office again in the near future, either.