A couple of days ago, I compared Sharron Angle and Harry Reid’s closing arguments in their Nevada senatorial contest. Each candidate was making an argument to Nevadans about Nevada. Here’s another version of Angle’s closing argument from an organization called “Friends of Sharron Angle” with bigger fish to fry:
Wow. I can’t recall ever seeing anything quite like this in a state-wide election. The people who made this ad aren’t just attempting to “nationalize” a Nevada election by tying an ineffectual and/or corrupt senator to an unpopular president. They’re trying to “ideologize” it by portraying Reid as an all-too-effectual lieutenant taking orders from General Obama in a generational ideological war while a faceless mob chants in the background. The Nevada election's just a local skirmish. Substitute facts about the national economy for the Nevada-specific facts and you have the sort of ad Republicans will probably be running in 2012.
First, an ad like this will surely enlist some Nevadans in the broader ideological war, but it probably will also excite a backlash from Nevadans who resent outsiders butting into their local affairs. I wonder how that nets out.
Second, the last time conservative Republicans tried something like this, Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole (who went reluctantly along for the ride) got their heads handed to them by Bill Clinton. It looks like conservatives are betting that things will be different this time around.