Election Day is almost here! Tuesday is Pennsylvania primary day, so politicians will be ceding television commercial breaks back to their usual occupants (ads for drugs, beer, cars, etc.) for a few months — until general election commercials start.
For the past month, seemingly every commercial break has been clogged with ads that are ridiculous in one way or another. (Another possibility: I just happen to watch a lot of TV that’s generally aimed at old people.) I guess I’m tired of them, but I’m going to miss the ridiculousness of a lot of the spots. Maybe it’s because they all use the same cliches, but there’s something about political commercials that is just hilarious. Here’s a roundup of some of the more notable ones from this election season.
We’re now at the stage of things where the only appropriate thing to do is jokingly reference M.C. Hammer album titles. Because the latest poll centered on next Tuesday’s Democratic primary election shows that frontrunner Tom Wolf is, uh, still running up front: Harper Polling says he commands the support of 50 percent of likely voters.
York businessman Tom Wolf during a Democratic gubernatorial candidates forum Tuesday Feb. 4, 2014 in Philadelphia. AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma
Let’s get real. If Treasurer Rob McCord were actually interested in initiating a serious discussion about racism in Pennsylvania, he probably would have chosen a more appropriate format and timing than a 30-second scare ad two weeks before election day.
Still, the random last-ditch attempt to impugn the character of Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Tom Wolf has succeeded in getting people talking about race, and it’s an important discussion for Pennsylvania to have with itself. It is, after all, the most prejudiced state outside the South.
But so far the conversation has fixated on the narrow and not especially productive issue of a racist guy, and the appropriate distance for a political candidate to have from him, when the real conversation Pennsylvania needs is about policy.
The biggest problem with white racism isn’t white people mistreating people of color on a personal level — it’s how those prejudices ultimately manifest themselves in state and local laws and policies that directly or indirectly favor white supremacy, and unfairly ration opportunities and public resources to people of color.
And as it happens, Mr. Wolf actually does have a very clear policy record on racial politics, and broadening the discussion to include that record reveals a very different picture of his time in York than the one portrayed in Mr. McCord’s scare ad.
• She thinks Pennsylvania is ready for a woman to serve as governor:
Meanwhile, Schwartz, a decade-long House member who ditched her safe Philadelphia-area seat for a chance to take on Corbett, is presenting her candidacy as part of a larger cause for women in a state with a paltry record of electing them. But she’s found herself in a dogfight for her party’s nomination, despite entering the primary as the nominal frontrunner.
“It wasn’t a long-term strategy of mine,” Schwartz, 65, said in an interview at her field office in northeast Philadelphia. “Although I think in some ways, it is the next step for women, to use our skills, to use our experience, to see ourselves as governor, and to take on that executive role. It feels like it’s time for us to do this.”
Tom Wolf. AP Photo | Chris Knight, Intelligencer Journal
The increasingly shrill tenor of the Allyson Schwartz and Rob McCord campaigns’ hits on Tom Wolf heading into the last two and a half weeks of the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania Governor may lead some to believe the race is really about to heat up. Those people would be wrong.
The truth is that the race has been over for weeks, and Tom Wolf is going to be the nominee.
The move came after the campaign of U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, one of Wolf’s opponents for the Democratic nomination, pointed out in a news release what it called the “troubling plagiarism” in his Fresh Start governing blueprint.
“I have directed the staff to make sure nothing like this ever happens again and have asked for a new process to be put in place to ensure it does not,” Wolf, a York businessman and former state revenue secretary, said in a statement.
Schwartz campaign spokesperson Mark Bergman told the Inquirer: “Tom Wolf claims to be a different kind of candidate [and] says he will lead us in a new direction … yet the words are not even his own.”
Hey Allyson Schwartz, if you want to break through and guarantee that you win the Democratic nomination to run for governor, have I got an idea for you. It’s loosely based on the philosophy of Sarah Palin, but don’t let that stop you.
You ready? Here goes. Pennsylvania is sitting on a mother lode of cash, right? The natural gas in the Marcellus Shale reserve is worth at least $2 trillion dollars.