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What I have learned from those

September 19, 2008
byChuck Hunt
I don't know about you, but the political ads on TV are starting to get to me. And not in the way the candidates want.

They are getting annoying.

Don't get me wrong. I actually enjoy watching how the campaigns unfold before the election.The debates, the conventions, the mistakes, the speeches.

But not the commercials.

Candidates for both president and U.S. senate seem to have unlimited budgets. It is only September and the airways are filled with the ads.

The ads seem to be more negative than informative in most cases. Unfortunately most of them follow the age-old advice on how to get elected.

First, tell people that the other guy is responsible for their problems and has made bad decisions .

Second, say that people's lives will be better if you are elected.

Third, don't be too specific on how that will be accomplished.

Admittedly that view is a little cynical. But the reality is that whoever gets elected, their ability to do something about high gas prices, the global economy or the housing market is actually very limited.

For both political parties, it is all about getting their candidates elected. They identify the problems in the country, blame the other side for it, but never offer any real solution.

It is interesting to watch how both sides accuse the other of slanting the truth, or outright lying. That might be because both sides are guilty of it. Of course they are going to put the best spin on everything. It is what they need to do.

The other question is, do the commercials actually make a difference? Are you going to change your vote from Norm Coleman to Al Franken because of a talking rubber fish?

I think the answer is that commercials tend to reinforce previously held beliefs. If you like Barack Obama and intend to vote for him, then you probably like his TV ads. Ditto for McCain supporters.

The ads for Minnesota senator are a bit more entertaining, but still not filled with facts and plans.

So far I have learned from commercials such things as the following “important” items about our prospective next senator:

- Norm Coleman went fishing in Alaska. Wonder if he met Sarah Palin there?

- Bowlers are going to vote for Norm because he brought hockey back to Minnesota. I have been puzzled by those ads since they first came out. Thank goodness they are no longer on.

- Al Franken was a comedian and used bad language on the stage.

- Franken also did not pay some sort of taxes he owed. But has a reason why he didn’t.

- Norm Coleman has voted along the Republican lines, with the Bush administration. So did a lot of other senators, I would guess.

- Norm Coleman has bad hair days.

- Al Franken has a sixth grade teacher who liked him.

- Both Coleman and Franken are appalled at the high price of a gallon of gas. Gee, so am I.

- Franken wants to raise taxes, or is it he wants to end tax cuts?

- Coleman voted for tax cuts, but only for people making more money than I am.

- Coleman has been the senator. Franken wants to be the senator.

- Fish can talk.

So there you go.

The good news is that there is only about 42 more days before Nov. 4 and the election, and then it will all be over.

It will be good to see a commercial for hair restore products and slice-o-matics again.

P.S. Please don’t try to guess who I am going to vote for from the previous information.

I may not go with either major candidate. Remember that Chuck Aldrich of Alden is also a senate candidate.
 
 

 

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