Monday, August 16, 2010

Ben Quayle's Fighting Words

Running for the Republican nomination for the House of Representatives in Arizona's third district, Ben Quayle has produced one of the most straight-forward campaign advertisements in recent history.

There's no dark, forboding music. No clever sloganeering. No computer-generated chariactures of his opponents. Just Quayle staring into the camera, explaining why he thinks Barack Obama is the worst President in the history of United States.

There are plenty of people suggesting that if Obama is not the worst President in US history, he is one of the worst. Many consider Obama to be second only to Jimmy Carter in this particular category.

Yet somehow, when Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, makes these comments, it's somehow controversial:

Aside from its simplicity, there's a very standard "taking on Washington" message at play within the ad, as Quayle promises to go to DC and "knock the hell out of it."

This is typically a tactic adopted by someone trying to run as a beltway outsider -- this will be a difficult feat for the son of a former Vice President to accomplish.

But in alluding to "Drug cartels in Mexico", Quayle makes what seems to be a calculated effort to envoke the border security issue without directly referring to either the border itself, or to the closely-tied topic of immigration.

Likewise, in alluding to "tax cartels in Washington", Quayle appeals to support from the Tea Party movement without making any direct appeal.

Quayle quietly brands himself as a sympathetic ally of the Tea Party movement, and quietly counter-brands Barack Obama as a tax-and-not-secure-the-border Democrat.

The bonus value of Quayle's ad is that it will give his detractors opportunities to indulge, and embarrass, themselves:

It may be wise to point out to Catie Lazarus, TJ Miller, Joel Godard and their puppet friend that avoiding issues like this hasn't helped them, or President Obama, one bit.

With Barack Obama's approval ratings continually plummeting, stating that Obama is a poor President -- and the President who refuses to enforce the law is definitely a poor President -- can't help but attract support from voters growing increasingly fed up with Obama and his cabal; particularly in Arizona.

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