Friday, February 26, 2010

Senate Candidates Dueling TV Ads

Trey Grayson launched his third ad of the week and Rand Paul responded with his own ad -- with Barack Obama playing the part of Willie Horton.

Grayson's television ad portrays Paul as a weak appeaser by quoting Paul promising to balance the budget by cutting military spending. It's a pity for Paul that so few al Qaeda operatives are registered to vote in Kentucky, as they would no doubt agree that the U.S. military budget should be gutted.

Well, it didn't take long for Rand Paul (who is rolling in dough from out of state donors) to launch his own national security ad. Paul may still lead in the polls, but he has shifted to reactive mode. Grayson is setting the agenda. Paul's reflexive launch of an ad every time Grayson runs one is making Paul sound like Ethel Merman singing "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better."

As for the substance of ads, Paul is now on the record, on camera, as stating that he would cut military spending. Not a smart move when we are fighting two wars plus the threat of terrorist attacks here. Grayson's ad is therefore quite powerful.

Rand Paul's ad, not so much. He reminds us that in his youth, Trey Grayson voted for Bill Clinton. Hello! Ronald Reagan was a Democrat in his youth, as well. Grayson has grown up. He is a conservative. No one seriously thinks that Washington would make him go all wobbly and start voting with Harry Reid. Paul's argument does not work because too many Kentuckians know Grayson first-hand and know him to be a solid conservative.

Paul makes a second point in his ad, and this one is even more specious than the Bill Clinton jab. Paul quotes a sound-bite of Grayson saying that as Secretary of State and a citizen he will do his part to work with President Barack Obama.

The Paul ad concludes ominously that Grayson and Obama are "dangerous allies" just as a giant head shot of Obama appears over Grayson's shoulder! Seriously, Paul is treating Obama like he's Willie Horton. I'm no Obama friend, but Paul's disrespect of the President of the United States is staggering.

As for Paul's point that Grayson is an Obama collaborator, for all of Paul's professed love of the constitution, he forgets that public servants like Gayson take a oath of office that requires Grayson to "support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth." Obama is the duly elected head of the executive branch. Maybe Paul should re-read the Constitution of the United States, particularly article II, section 1: "the executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."

For Paul to attempt to tie Grayson to Obama because Grayson recognizes the president's constitutional authority is just more of the peculiar, illogic that has come to characterize the Paul campaign.

Joe Arnold reports that Paul has reserved air time leading up to the May primary to run many, many ads. From what he has run so far, Paul's ads are back-firing. The more Kentuckians learn about this guy, the less they will like this legacy candidate son of wacko Ron Paul.

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