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Political ads follow same, predicatable template

September 30, 2012
By KELLY VAN DE WALLE ( , Times-Republican

Ahhh election season. It's a season full of mud-slinging, speeches, half-truths and my personal favorite: political advertisements. Political advertisements are like wine: fine in moderation but indulge too much and you start feeling horrible, bitter, empty, start arguing loudly with family and wake up in the morning regretting the decisions you made.

Where I used to find them irritating I now find them hilarious (sometimes it's best to laugh away the pain). They all follow the same basic pattern.

[ominous music from a Stephen King movie]

Candidate A ad: Look at Candidate B over there, looking all smug.

[photo of Candidate B in black and white shown askew and zooming in creepily for no reason]

Don't you just HATE people like that? Let me rephrase. You totally hate people like that. Look at his scary face. We hate that face. Not to mention his let's say voting record. Do you know he once voted on a thing that was terrible and hurt America? I'm not going to tell you what it was, nor the complex and confusing set of circumstances that surrounded it and the attachments to it that made no sense that may or may not have led to his vote that, retrospectively, may or may not have been right ? politically or morally. This is an ad, you can't expect me to give you details so I'll just do the right thing here and give you a half-truth talking point knee-jerk comment for you to be outraged about! I'm sure you'll look up the details later, right?

Ohmygosh you guys, do you hear that scary music? Why would Candidate B have scary music underneath a picture of himself if he WASN'T evil?

[photo of Candidate A with inspirational music]

See? When you vote for me you get color photos and inspirational music!

America, I would never do that thing that HE voted for - or against. For I fight on the side of good. Like Captain America. So the choice is simple: vote for Captain America, or vote for the guy opposing Captain America.

You love me. Check out this smile and pose of leadership.

[freeze in extreme leadership pose!]

Candidate B ad: Typical Candidate A smear-attack politics as usual. That's the kind of thing we DON'T need in Washington, the District of Columbia, not the state that is in the northwest part of the country. We don't need it there either, though, I suppose. I am smart at geography! Rest assured my friends, my fellow Americans, my fellow American friends, lovers? (Too much? Then it was a joke!) I will not resort to this type of dirty politics.

But you know, what kind of name is Candidate A, really? Sounds pretty elitist. Do we want somebody like that in office? One of those highly educated snobs? Would you want somebody like that in YOUR office? Do you see yourself having a beer with someone named "Candidate A"? And, really, isn't that all the matters? Come on. Have a beer with me. My treat. I only ask for your vote in return. You're super thirsty right now and I'm totally being awesome and cool that it's a work night.

Candidate A ad: It's interesting Candidate B wants to have a drink. Do we really want an alcoholic in office? Something to think about. And what do we REALLY know about Candidate B? Sure, he looks human - but IS he? How can we be certain? How do we know he's not a mutant robot bat creature? If I were you, I'd vote for me - an American that was born in America to American humans.

Candidate B ad: Sometimes Candidate A can't decide which entre to have at dinner. Hidden camera footage caught Candidate A at a restaurant with his "wife" (she looked like a "professional," we're just saying) who ordered the Canard la Rouennaise - the dish HE WAS GOING TO ORDER - but because SHE ordered it first and he CHANGED HIS MIND and chose Beef Wellington! Can we really trust a candidate that changes entre loyalties like that?

Rest assured, America, I will ALWAYS stick to my convictions ? even if that means not being able to sample another dish. I eat what I believe in: the American values of hard work and grilled meats. And I'll eat with my wife, not secret prostitutes.

Candidate B ad: But have you SEEN what Candidate A orders in restaurants? Chicken Marengo - a FRENCH dish. FROM FRANCE! Hey Candidate A, what's wrong with a burger, made from an American cow, raised on an American ranch by REAL Americans? And that WAS my wife I was eating with. But I understand you not knowing what it's like to have the company of a beautiful woman.

Candidate A ad: Candidate B's hatred of the endangered Eurasian Otter is widely known because I'm telling you now and you're just going to have to take my word for it here. In fact, I haven't heard him or his campaign staff EVER deny he punches one on the way to "work" every single day. Sure, nobody has SEEN him punch an endangered otter, but that doesn't mean he's not doing it. He's simply very good at hiding things and not getting caught. If he's hiding otter assault, what ELSE isn't he telling us?

[inspirational music, Kenny G/Kenny Rodgers duet with wind chimes with harps]

When elected, I'd see to it that people like Candidate B STOP assaulting endangered animals and pay for their crimes. In fact, I'd also give the Eurasian Otter the Congressional Medal of Cuteness and nominate one for a cabinet position. Possibly Secretary of Adorableness. Or head of Homeland Security.

Candidate B ad: Ooooh! The debt! Candidate B loooooves the debt. He thinks the debt is better than Lord of the Rings! Not me, America. I'll pass by that debt clock every day and throw change at it. I'm pretty sure that's how you get it to go down. I didn't see a place to swipe your credit card.

Candidate A: "Wabbit season!"

Candidate B: "Duck season!"

Media: "Yessss I can feel your anger growing. It's delicious."

Candidate A: "WABBIT SEASON!!!"

Candidate B: "DUCK SEASON!!!"

Media: "That's it. Feed me."

Voters: "Um guys ?"

Candidate A: "Quiet, you! We're busy over here."

Candidate B: "Yeah! We'll get to you idiots later. Can't you see I'm winning over here? Sheesh."

Candidate A: "I know. Rude."


Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications ( He can be reached at or via giant campaign yard sign. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny or you won't get an "I voted" sticker that smells like freedom.



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