The Campaign Spot

Christine O’Donnell’s Second Ad Debuts

I liked Christine O’Donnell’s opening ad line of “I’m not a witch,” for lumping all of the criticism of O’Donnell together and labeling it with the wackiest and most ridiculous one.

Here’s the follow-up, which . . . well, decide for yourself.

Fred “Demonsheep” Davis is an ad genius, so I’ll defer to his judgment. But I don’t know if I would have continued to parry the criticism; I might have gone straight to the kitchen-table issues.

Instead, O’Donnell begins, “I didn’t go to Yale.” Er, no, but she’s been accused of serially misrepresenting her education record. She continues, “I didn’t inherit millions, like my opponent.” Besides the slight dollop of envy it suggests, it’s a poor defense to the accusations of stiffing former employees. Again, if the aim is to make the race about what’s happening in Washington or what Chris Coons would do in office, turn to those issues a bit quicker — Election Day is in less than four weeks!

Finally, the slogan “I’m you” recurs again, twice, and I’m not sure how far that will carry her. It’s clear what they were going for, but perhaps, “I’m not the establishment” or “I’m not Washington,” or “I’m the only candidate that’s as angry as you are about what’s going on in Washington.” I find it too easy to imagine a voter saying, “You’re not me.” For starters, if you went to Yale, she’s explicitly saying she’s not you.

Maybe folks will love this ad, but to me it feels like a misstep.

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