Senator Chuck Grassley’s re-election campaign unveiled its first television commercial of the year yesterday:
Rough transcript by me:
Unidentified woman: “Tightwad.”
Unidentified woman: “Penny-pincher.”
Unidentified man: “He’s frugal.”
Unidentified man: “Blunt.”
Unidentified man: “Straight-talking.”
Unidentified woman: “One of us.”
Female voice-over: Chuck Grassley visits every county every year to stay in touch. He’s a farmer and a senator. He’ll do what needs to be done. He’s just like Iowa. Chuck Grassley works … and he never forgets he works for us.
Grassley: I’m Chuck Grassley for Iowa, and I approved this message.
Once Roxanne Conlin went up on television, I figured it wouldn’t be long before Grassley’s campaign responded. He has more than $5 million in the bank and can probably afford to run television commercials from now until November.
Although this commercial doesn’t mention Grassley’s likely Democratic opponent in the general election, I infer from the language in this ad that he’ll run against Conlin as a rich, free-spending lawyer who’s not “one of us.”
This doesn’t seem like a strong commercial to me, but it shows Grassley recognizes he can’t afford to be seen as the candidate representing special interests. The female voice-over suggests to me that Grassley knows he needs to shore up support among women. The most recent Rasmussen poll showed Conlin trailing narrowly among women, and the most recent Research 2000 poll for KCCI showed Conlin slightly ahead of Grassley among women.
Grassley will be hard-pressed to defend his “penny-pincher” reputation when he has voted for every blank check for war and the Wall Street bailout. He also voted for every Bush tax cut for the wealthy, which massively increased our national debt and budget deficits. In the current fiscal year, “a staggering 52.5 percent of the benefits [from the Bush tax cuts] will go to the richest 5 percent of taxpayers. Meanwhile, Grassley voted against many policies that benefit hard-working Iowans, like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
I’ll post more links on the Senate race soon. For now, share your thoughts on this commercial and the campaign.