The Campaign Spot

Candidate Uses Negative Ad to Criticize Past Negative Ads

Here in Virginia, I’m starting to see ads for this year’s upcoming gubernatorial race. Interestingly, I’ve seen one or two ads for Republican Bob McDonnell, who just started running them recently, and a slew of typically negative “Bob McDonnell wants to see poor people starve” ones from the Democratic Governors Association. This is on the heels of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s “Bob McDonnell likes massacres and gun violence” ads.

From the commercials, you would think that no Democrats are running, and voters will vote this November on a referendum on McDonnell. But as noted, there is a Democratic primary, among three men who have few, if any, policy differences. So without policy positions to argue, Brian Moran is finding another way to draw a contrast with Terry McAuliffe:

The Moran campaign is hoping a new 60-second radio ad running on black radio stations in Virginia will remind African-American voters — likely to be a crucial voting block in the June 9 Democratic primary — of McAuliffe’s full-throated support for Clinton.

“Terry McAuliffe may have a lot of big money for his campaign, but don’t let that hide the truth,” the ad’s narrator says. “The truth is, Terry McAuliffe led the campaign that ran the ‘3 a.m.’ attack ad against Barack Obama. McAuliffe worked to put up the ads that questioned Obama’s ability to be president.”

I can’t help but notice that Moran is running negative ads in a Democratic primary, attacking his foe for . . . running negative ads in a Democratic primary.

Virginia Democrats go to the polls three weeks from tomorrow.

UPDATE: A reader notes:

In your most recent post on the race for the Democrat nomination for governor in Virginia, you say “Virginia Democrats go to the polls in three weeks.”  But Virginia has no party registration so any registered voter can participate and with no Republican primary scheduled, GOP voters can vote with no fear of missing having a voice in their own party’s selection since Attorney General Bob McDonnell is unoccupied for the GOP nomination.

Despite the fun Republicans had with “Operation Chaos” last year, I will not be voting in the Democratic primary, and would discourage other Republicans from doing the same. For starters, I don’t take my moral guidance from Saul Alinsky. But beyond that, I don’t have any particularly strong preference among the Democratic candidates. One of my readers summarized the Democratic field this morning as “the corrupt brother of a corrupt anti-Semite, an upstate New Yorker who failed as DNC Chair and who has no real ties to the state, and some Virginian who keeps hitting people with his car.”

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