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October 27, 2006

JACOB SULLUM:

Maybe I'm racially insensitive, but I don't get the uproar over the ad in which a hot chick says she met Harold E. Ford, the Tennessee Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, at a Playboy party and asks him to call her. A Vanderbilt expert on political advertising says it "makes the Willie Horton ad look like child's play." Really? It's worse for voters to think that beautiful women want to have sex with you that it is for them to believe that you let a dangerous criminal out of prison to commit rape and murder? I think Michael Dukakis would disagree. He could have benefited from this sort of slander, if anyone would have believed it.

I agree. As I've said before, I think the Playboy thing helps Ford more than it hurts him.

UPDATE: Reader Janice Lyons says it's not about the bimbo:

By focusing on the blonde the Dems are either being really really clever, or are really really dumb.

It's the WHOLE AD that has the bang. It is not only hilarious, it's points to Ford's positions (I assume, since I'm not a Volunteer), which when voiced in their implications, are pretty damning.

Perhaps by calling race! sex! - and - gasp! bimbo! they are trying to divert attention from the problem of Ford's positions (the actual content of the ad, not his sex life) with [self righteous] indignation.

Surely more than a few people see the ad, snicker at the blonde, and wonder if Ford really does think they own too many guns, it's no big whoop that the family farm which has now become a developer's (and the tax office's) dream can will be lost to the family because of property and death taxes, that people who produce stability in the society pay higher taxes, that the US should stop trying to slow down the nuclear train to hell, and that people committed to blowing up as many Americans and as many America ideas and things as they can should have the right to be treated as citizens, and better.

That's what the Dems are really worried about. Or should be anyway. That's the message of the ad the Dems are trying to distract from while "whining" about the bare shouldered blonde.

Well, of course, the complaints just caused many, many more people to see the ad. Smart? We'll see.

And I think Dukakis would have picked up at least 3 states if it had come out that he'd partied with Playboy bunnies . . . .