Saturday, May 07, 2005

A Head In the Clouds Versus the Man In the Moon

The race for the open Pennsylvania 42nd State Senate seat is overstuffing mailboxes throughout the district. Things have taken a particularly nasty turn, and I have come to expect the mailman to show up at least three times a day with dueling campaign attacks from both the Mike Diven and Wayne Fontana camps.

There are many voters who may well look at these mailers, get disgusted with both candidates, and proclaim their disdain for negative campaigning, but then will hold their nose and vote for their own party's man. For the rest of us, it's like watching a soap opera. Or perhaps WWE's Monday Night Raw. You wonder whether someone's going to get bloody, or if people will switch sides.

Yesterday's mail brought the first campaign ad that actually made me laugh out loud. "The Difference Is Between Night and Day", proclaims a pro-Diven ad, which shows a portrait of Mike Diven, floating in puffy white clouds that perfectly embellish a nice clear blue sky, on the left side of the page, while the grim visage of Wayne Fontana, on the right hand side, hovers just below a very large full moon. Fontana's face eerily shares the unusual green tint of the moon glow.

I have said before that I don't necessarily mind negative campaigning, as long as each candidate articulates can articulate the reasons to vote for him/her/it, but I don't even care about that any more. I don't care if what they have to say is negative or positive. I just want them to make me laugh. Laughter is indeed the best medicine, not just as a curative, but also as a preventive. Just don't ask me to administer the treatment; I might make the patient overdose. Like a poultice, it would be.

Had I been working on the "Night and Day" ad, I would have livened things up a bit more. Diven and Fontana both have plenty of supporters whose kind words of support frequently pop up in their respective mailings. Why not use them in this ad? Instead of a floating head in the clouds, Diven could be lifted up to the heavens on a silk sheet borne by cherubs. Cherubs, that is, with the heads of high-profile Diven backers. The Fontana wheel-o'-cheese-in-the-sky could then be populated with little green men who bear a curious resemblance to his most outspoken advocates. The exception, of course, would be County Executive Dan Onorato, whose big head on a defense-of-Fontana ad yesterday caused me to shriek in terror for the first time since the campaign began. Onorato's head would be the moon itself.

Don't stop me now, I'm on a roll.

Why not change the text to "The Difference Is Like Heaven and Hell", in order to appeal to the "religious right"? The Diven picture can remain unchanged, cherubs and all. Replace Fontana's moon with a picture of roaring fires, and stick the faces of the Fontana backers on the bodies of little devils. (I'm thinking Hot Stuff here. It's real cute, trust me.) Give Fontana's face a reddish tint to match the flames. And stick a hologram of Onorato's giant head amidst the flames, sort of like the Wizard of Oz, but think "Crimson Kingdom" rather than "Emerald City".

Terrifying, isn't it? This is why no one would dare hire me to work on their campaign. I'm too creative.


Honnistaibe said...

I may have been one of the few watching these guys debate last night (a tape delayed thing). Neither one impressed me.
The third candidate,, Libertarian Mark Rauterkus was much more polished and more knowledgeable about the issues than I expected. His biggest problem other than not being with a major party is he comes across as too independent of the people he wants to represent. It is a very noble thing to want to put the interests of all Pennsylvanians ahead of "bringing home the bacon", but I don't think that will translate well with the average voter.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Thanks for the plug.

Thanks for watching the taped debate as well.

I'm all about community. I'm all about interactions. I'm here! -- and we go out after lunch to hit more at the T-stop and elsewhere with the brochures.

Think again. Diven and Fontana are not fit to be senators.

There are real issues and these guys are making mountains out of mole hills.

It is a big problem being "too independent."

The average voter does understand a thing or two about freedom and being American.

I think -- with some help -- like a text recap of last night's TV debate -- I could score major votes in the final week. Want to help? Call me: 412 298 3432 = cell