Benzilla vs. Pete Ricketts' Momby Kyle Michaelis
My reaction: the Ben Nelson ad may be downright brilliant politically. Nothing screams election year like stirring up popular sentiment and running against some foreign devils. As the rest of the country focuses on illegal immigrants from the south, Nelson has cornered the Japanese all to himself, ready to crush Tokyo at a moment's notice (BENZILLA ATTACKS!!!) if they don't play ball and open their markets to our Nebraska-bred beef.
Still, when Nelson says "what's good for the goose is good for the gander"....that's just too folksy even for me. I understand that Nebraskans are common people - God bless'em - but that doesn't mean you have to talk to them in trite maxims likening complicated issues of foreign trade to one of "Aesop's Fables."
If I'm going to fault Nelson's ad for being trite, though, I don't even know where to begin with Pete Ricketts' latest. First of all, who exactly is the candidate here - Pete or his mom? Sure, she seems like a real nice lady. Sure, she's provided the one real touch of charm for which Ricketts has any hope of being remembered - after TV viewers watched her put that stocking cap on his head for the 50th time. But, my God, a candidate has to stand on his own two feet. If Mrs. Ricketts wants to run for office, she should go ahead, but, otherwise, Pete should come out from behind her apron and run a campaign on some actual issues.
Seriously, what does Mrs. Ricketts being a "Nebraska City Farm Girl" and vaguely remembering having to stick to a budget before her husband was a billionaire have to do with ANYTHING? Is Pete really so desperate to establish a personal connection with voters - is he really so lacking in his own charisma (against "Tin Man" Don Stenberg, no less) - that his mommy has to do it for him.
I don't want to insult anyone's family. I'm not going to insult anyone's family - even if Ricketts does invite it by spending all those millions of dollars on this vacuous nonsense.
Finally, whereas the red stocking cap was once sort of cute, the Ricketts campaign's attempt to here make it some sort of personal trademark just reeks of desperation. Ricketts' inability to gain traction on issues hardly justifies the buying of votes with lame humor and shallow cuteness. Voters - no matter how old, living no matter how far out in the boonies - simply aren't going to fall for it.
Am I way off base here? Maybe I am becoming too cynical for my own good. Tell me what you think, as I ponder taking a temporary vacation from this incessant ranting.