Monday, November 1, 2010

The 6 worst (and 1 best) campaign ads of 2010

Posted By on Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Thank God and hallelujah, the 2010 campaign season is almost over. It’s been one of the most irritating, angriest, and at times, weirdest election seasons in memory, and the TV ads have reflected that. The odd rumblings stirring the nation’s conscience, or rather its id, have produced some TV classics. Bizarre images, candidates who seemed on the verge of a nervous breakdown, threats, scripture quotes, and accusations – we saw it all. Here are six of the worst campaign ads of 2010, and one which we consider the best of the year. How bad a year for election ads was it? Put it this way: the ad showing Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon (of pro wrestling promotion fame) kicking a guy in the crotch over and over didn’t make the cut.

6. Christine O’Donnell, U.S. Senate, GOP, Delaware

O’Donnell’s campaign was so widely covered, I assume I don’t have to explain this one:

Best Ad of 2010: SNL’s “I’m Not A Witch” parody

O’Donnell’s “I’m not a witch” ad moved Saturday Night Live to create this inspired parody, with our favorite comic actress, Kristen Wiig, playing the part of O’Donnell.

5. Tim D’Annunzio, U.S. House of Representatives, GOP, N.C.

None of D’Annunzio’s ads were as wacked out as his website, or some of his campaign statements, or, for that matter, his unique fundraising methods (machine guns, anyone?). But you have to admit that running for Congress by quoting one of the most obscure books of the Bible, and somehow relating that to progressives in Washington was way out there in right field.

4. Jack Conway, U.S. Senate, Democrat, Kentucky

Conway fell behind Tea Party fave Rand Paul, and resorted to desperate mudslinging, calling Paul unfit for office because of a long-ago college prank. OK, an admittedly stupid college prank, but utterly irrelevant to today.

3. Dale Peterson, Agriculture Commissioner, GOP, Alabama

This ad is actually touting John McMillan, the man who beat Peterson in the Alabama race for Ag Commish. In a year of tough-talking hombres, out to take back the gummint from liberal evildoers, Peterson and his shotgun stand above the crowd.

2. Dr. Dwight McKenna, Orleans Parish Coroner, bipartisan, Louisiana

For outright goofy sleaze, this ad takes the cake. The coroner’s race in N’Awlins was a wild ride, featuring an 80-year-old incumbent who’s created his own fiefdom, and a challenger who wants the cushy job for himself.

1. Rick Barber, U.S.House of Representatives, GOP, Alabama

Barber is so over-excited by that awful and oppressive federal government that's on everybody's butt all day long, he seems to be on crack. This ad, featuring Barber talking to some of the Founding Fathers and asking for their advice, received a lot of notice – not that it did Barber any good, as he lost his primary battle. The ad, though, will live on as a classic of “Big Gummint” paranoia.

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