Andrew Sullivan has been running a best and worst 80s video contest. I think I’ll have a contest for worst Alabama political ad of the year. You can nominate them by e-mailing the video (or a link) to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll pick a winner and post it after the elections.
I’ll start it with my nominee. Dan called it the “Biggest Hail Mary.” I’m saying – even with several days left until the elections – this is the worst ad of the year.
The first line is “Ronald Reagan and Judge Deborah Bell Paseur, both were elected in 1980.”
And? So? The Blues Brothers premiered in 1980, does that mean she is on a mission from God? Why does this matter?
You never find out. The ad never again mentions Reagan’s name. The lack of an explanation has two results.
First, the viewer won’t remember anything about the ad because he will have watched the whole thing thinking “when are you going to tell me why in the world it matters that you were first elected in 1980?” The first sentence makes the rest of the ad irrelevant and forgettable.
Second, the viewer is left to speculate about the significance of the 1980 election. Maybe the year of Reagan’s election is some new astrological event or something. I’m sure there are some people so smitten with Reagan that for them anything that began in the year of his ascendancy must be good. But most of us have more sense than that. And all we can conclude from this ad is that Paseur is desperate.