Billy Mays, Vince Offer . . . J. D. Hayworth
Oh, J. D. Hayworth. What are we going to do with you?
Phil Klein: “I understand why many Arizona Republicans would want to dump John McCain for a more conservative Senator, but I’ve never understood those who argue that J. D. Hayworth is the conservative who should replace McCain. Hayworth, after all, was a top recipent of donations linked to corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and was a reliable vote for President Bush’s big government agenda. The weakness of Hayworth’s claim to be a small government conservative was brought into sharper focus with the release of this 2007 infomercial that Hayworth recorded for the National Grants Conference, which offers seminars on how to people can get free money from government through grants.”
Over at the Standard, John McCormick thinks this spells the end of a campaign that had gotten some traction but still trailed by a significant margin: “How long until the McCain campaign photoshops Hayworth’s head on Matthew Lesko’s body? More importantly, how does Hayworth survive this?”
The Left Coast Rebel is now contemplating a candidate with big round ears: “I am a diehard McCain hater so where does that put me? I’ll never forget 2007′s McCain/Bush/Kennedy amnesty among other McCain injustices. He should never be reelected even if that means writing in ‘Mickey Mouse’ instead.”
The Arizona Republic quotes a Hayworth spokesman as saying he only did one commercial, but I think one misstep is all it takes to do the damage. Put aside the claims that these seminars are a scam, charging folks $999 to $1,200 for publicly available information and greatly exaggerating the availability of the federal grants. The Hayworth campaign tells NRO the former congressman has no regrets. Really, J. D.? Really? Not one iota of contemplation that maybe a former United States congressman should not be appearing in ads telling people that the federal government is just full of money and that they should be asking for more of it, at least not if he ever plan on running for office again on a platform of controlling spending and fiscal conservatism?!?
Beyond that, the ad is so tacky it makes those “Real Housewives” series look classy. You’re a U.S. congressman, you’re supposed to be above these sorts of things. After you leave Congress, you’re supposed to make your money the old-fashioned, honest way: writing a book no one will read, teaching a class that is only for the most diehard of political geeks, trading on your connections with a fat-cat, Gucci-wearing lobbying firm, and in the case of former Ohio congressman Jim Traficant, making license plates. If we have congressman popping up in infomercials, next thing you know we’ll have the President of the United States appearing in commercials for late-night shows.