After taking a beating for airing an ad using "'Hicky' Blue Collar" looking actors, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has taken another shot in the Senate race in West Virginia. The NRSC's new ad has a similar message to its previous one, which, apart from the casting mishap, took a clever approach.
The NRSC knows that Gov. Joe Manchin, the Democratic candidate, is widely popular within the state, but that Obama and national Democrats are not. So the group is hammering an unusual message: Joe Manchin's a great governor--so don't hand him over to Washington.
In the notorious 'hicky' ad, three, er, hicky-looking men sit at a diner, talking politics. They express general approval of Manchin but say they'd like to keep him in West Virginia so he doesn't morph into "Washington Joe," who "does whatever Obama wants."
The NRSC's new ad, embedded below, replays footage from a recent Manchin ad showing him shooting a rifle at the cap-and-trade bill. A narrator says that Manchin is "hunting for votes" and "camouflaging his support for Obama's worst policies." The appropriation of Manchin's own imagery, intended to distance himself from the Obama administration, is clever. As is the NRSC's acknowledgement, again, that Manchin is a popular governor.
"A good governor has a bad idea," the narrator continues. "Send Joe Manchin back to Charleston, and send a message to Obama."