John Hickenlooper, current mayor of Denver and the Democratic nominee for governor of Colorado, has released a clever new ad. Clad in a suit, Hickenlooper strides into a bathroom and climbs into the shower, thrusting his face under the stream. This scene repeats itself throughout the video, with Hickenlooper soaking a series of outfits, while he narrates why he won't run negative ads -- "Every time I see one, I feel like I need to take a shower," he says.

As Hickenlooper emerges from the shower each time, his boyish hair plastered to his forehead, the effect is unusual and endearing without feeling phony.





Chris Cillizza dubs the ad one of the "best positive campaign commercials this cycle," but he warns would-be suds-ing politicians to think twice. Thanks to particularly lackluster Republican options -- and Tom Tancredo's third-party candidacy, which will likely siphon votes from the GOP -- Hickenlooper is in an unusually safe spot:

With Maes as the nominee, it's hard to imagine the Republican Governors Association spending any money on the race and it's equally difficult to see Maes raising the sort of money on his own to compete with Hickenlooper.

That financial mismatch means that the race isn't much of a race and Hickenlooper's pledge of no negative ads is somewhat penalty-free. He gets the benefit of looking like a different sort of politician without running the risk of losing the race to a better funded -- and better known -- Republican who goes negative.