Jeff Barth’s campaign ad — in truth a YouTube video — is not as weird as I thought it would be based on the headline of the Political Wire blog post, which is “Most Bizarre Campaign Ad of the Year?” They do have a question mark. The ad does, however, tout the straightness of his children’s teeth. Which is indeed odd. Probably a first for any ad that isn’t for your local dentist.
It also offers a chance to show the silliness of politics as practiced by people on both sides of the aisle. Join us, won’t you?
For the record, Barth is a Democrat, and yet he is being mocked by so-called liberals. Whatever. I’m just saying.
Anyway, the ad itself is not what I would call slick. Barth appears to be the Democratic version of a Tea Party candidate, at least as far as I can tell from my limited knowledge of the man. The tone is what I would call Low-Key Doomsayer — the country is in trouble, Congress stinks, they don’t care about you, etc.
What is strange is Barth’s list of what his accomplishments are, or more specifically, what he’s been doing since making this ad. He mentions living in a number of places, going to numerous schools, and this quote which I saw on Ezra Klein’s Twitter feed: ”I’ve ridden an ostrich. I’ve done a lot of stuff.” And the “special effects”, like when he shoots a gun and a rubber chicken flops out of the sky on the opposite side of the screen.
Then comes the quote about his daughters cited by Political Wire. They cut Barth off; Barth boasts that his daughters ”have straight teeth, college degrees, husbands, and grandchildren.” The latter is what Political Wire left out. I’m not saying it changes things a lot, but it changes them a little bit. Very little, but a little. Bragging about grandchildren is not an uncommon thing for grandparents to do. That said, it’s unclear how this qualifies anyone to do anything other than perhaps be a babysitter. Here’s the part where that happens.
Barth is running against South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem, who has been called “the next Sarah Palin” because she is a Republican and attractive, as this Fox News pundit points out. In the interest of being fair and balanced, Huffington Post readers voted her “Hottest Freshman in Congress”, which she was not happy about. Then again, this video from the Conservative news outlet TownHall.com uses the song Dreamweaver, and as far as I know she didn’t mind that. But anyway.
Noem ran on a Tea Party-like platform; I say “Tea Party-like” because I don’t have time to read enough about her in order to say with confidence that she is a “Tea Party candidate”. She is young and did unseat a Democrat in 2010, which was the year a lot of TP folks were elected to the House of Representatives for the first time.
What’s the point? Originally it was “look at that stupid campaign ad!” After watching Barth’s ad, I realized that while it is indeed odd, it isn’t much more odd than other campaign ads, at least not in substance. I actually felt like I knew more about Jeff Barth after watching it. I’m not sure he’s qualified to do the job he’s running for, but I’m not sure Noem is either and she already won.