Rick Robinson: Which of these Political Ads is the Worst of All Time?
Last Friday, Texas State Senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis went after her opponent Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott with a campaign ad so outrageous many news outlets are labeling it the worst campaign ad of all time. In the ad, Davis attacks Abbott for … well … being handicapped and confined to a wheel chair.
The ad was so bad that Davis had to pull an even tougher ad accusing Abbott of running an illegal cockfight operation outside of Austin while wearing a University of Oklahoma jersey.
OK, the Davis ad is a stupid, heartless, last-ditch effort of a campaign in jeopardy, but is it the worst ad of all time? Watch these ads from losing campaigns over the past decade and determine that for yourself:
2010 – Christine O’Donnell (R) – Imagine a campaign going so badly you have to assure the people of Delaware you’re not a witch. Exit polling found the ad cost O’Donnell Delaware’s neo-pagan coven vote and most other state demographics as well.
2008 – Mike Gravel (D) – Short on campaign cash, former Alaska senator Mike Gravel cemented his position as the grumpiest old man in the 2008 presidential campaign by posting an ad where he said and did absolutely nothing. He later switched parties and lost a bid to be the Libertarian nominee for president after demanding all the conventioneers get the hell off his lawn.
2010 – Carly Fiorina (R) – Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina won California’s GOP primary for U.S. Senate by comparing her opponent to a demon sheep. Democrats used the ad to demonize her and make her the sacrificial lamb in the general election.
2008 – Hillary Clinton (D) – Hillary’s creepy 3 a.m. phone call ad caused a bunch of early primary voters to look up the phone number for the Obama for President Campaign.
2012 – Herman Cain (R) – What better way to capture the hearts and minds of the electorate than having a wheezing, campaign hack gush about you over a cigarette?
Rick Robinson is a Northern Kentucky lawyer and author of political thrillers which can be purchased on Amazon and at book stores everywhere. His novel, Manifest Destiny, has won seven writing awards, including Best Fiction at the Paris Book Festival. His latest novel is Alligator Alley. This article first appeared on Rare and is reprinted with permission.
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