The Best (Worst) Local Political Ads This Season

Obama and Romney aren't the only ones churning out unintentional comedy.

It’s election season, and naturally all anyone wants to talk about is Big Bird.

Obama released a new ad yesterday capitalizing on Mitt Romney’s debate comment on defunding PBS. It’s pretty ridiculous—Mitt Romney is not a supporter of Kenneth Lay, who has been dead since 2006, and what does this have to do with Romney wanting to defund PBS again?—but it at least ends with a kind of funny “taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest” line.

We have a little less than a month left of political ads clogging our mailboxes and saturating our airwaves, mostly on programs old people watch: the news, game shows, The Mentalist. Here are five of my favorites so far, each amusing in their own special way.

Kathy Boockvar, (Not the) world’s youngest Mumia Abu-Jamal supporter

The funniest attack ad in this election is Radical Kathy, a Republican National Congressional Committee website that allegedly “exposes” Kathy Boockvar’s ties to Mumia Abu-Jamal. The connection is strong, indeed. Boockvar’s husband did legal work for a witness who recanted and represented an arrested pro-Mumia protester, the Inquirer reports. At the time Daniel Faulkner was slain, Boockvar was a teenager.

And it gets funnier:

The NRCC on Monday sought to preempt the Rendell event by sending reporters a link to a report that says the attack “gets the facts right.”

The report, in fact, condemned the group’s “strained attempt” to link Boockvar to Abu-Jamal, saying “the NRCC doesn’t directly tie Boockvar to him at all.”

The worst part of this whole thing? The Radical Kathy webpage is a Tumblr blog. Boockvar may not be connected to Mumia Abu-Jamal, but the GOP is clearly connected to emo teens and animated GIFs.

Jon Runyan played football!

It’s a good thing Jon Runyan retired from professional football. Not only has he been successful in his post-football life, as shown in this video he can’t even pancake block an old man! He’s merely content to push him back a few feet. He does do a nice job blocking six people at that bus stop, though. And you have to respect a politician who wants to remind people of his previous career so much he wears a football helmet, even with a suit. It’d be like Mitt Romney wearing a suit made of money.

Still, I’m guessing this September ad backfired. I’m all for cutting Medicare if it means politicians have to stand in front of pharmacy counters and prevent old people from getting their necessary prescription drugs. Think how funny it will be when the first one is trampled.

Tom Smith, job creator

Here’s what I don’t get about ads touting private sector job creation experience: For the good of the country, shouldn’t you just continue to make all those jobs on your own in the private sector? Not to mention the idea of deriding the idea of a career politician, the very job you are running for. If Tom Smith applied for a position at one of his beloved private sector firms and bashed the very idea of sprocket polishing, he’d end up having to work as a SEPTA employee in a little hut at an El stop. (Those people clearly bash their jobs to get hired.)

Bob Casey’s overly complicated stump

Still, Casey is probably going to beat Smith. But that will be no thanks to this ad, which actually opens with, “Steel. Made in America!” At first I thought this was a promo for last month’s Parkway concert I missed, advertising the return of Doctor Steel. Anyway, if you didn’t guess, it’s not actually that. It’s an ad blaming the (Obama?) Defense Department for saving us money by purchasing Chinese steel. I sure do fear China a lot more during election season. During the year I only worry about them beating us in women’s soccer.

The Photoshopped puppy

Last week, Keystone Politics posted a mailer from GOP State Rep. Rob Kauffman; in it, Kauffman’s new puppy is very clearly Photoshopped into a previously-taken photo of his family.

Naturally, he’s outraged anyone would even bring it up. “It’s sad that instead of talking about real issues affecting Pennsylvania,” he told the Inquirer, “my opponent and her allies want to focus on trivialities like this to hide their liberal ideas.”

It is a well-known fact that focusing on trivialities is a good way to But this is definitely not the case here: Photoshop skills this poor deserve to be exposed. They are simply unacceptable for a legislator in this day and age. Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990! Tsk, tsk.