Almost to the minute after the primary, some Republican PAC ran a TV commercial ripping into Democratic Senate candidate Rich Carmona.
The crime? His support of Obama’s health care reform.
It ran, however, briefly.
And I wonder if it did because it didn’t work. A recent opinion poll shows Carmona and presumptive favorite Jeff Flake tied.
But recently? Flake’s doubled down: He’s run nothing but negative ads against Carmona, pinning him to Obama. In other words, he’s trying to do to Carmona what Wil Cardon tried to do against Flake. All negative, all the time.
But not Carmona. His commercials are at attempt to define him for voters who mostly don’t have a clue about him.
They’re smart ads.
The first one is biographical — pulling himself up by his own bootstraps, veteran, SWAT team member, doctor, Surgeon General.
A real American success story.
And the second is better, framing him as a problem solver. It focuses on health care, and how Carmona believes both Republicans and Democrats have it wrong:
Obamacare is only a start, and we need to find ways to make existing health care more affordable.
The commercial makes Carmona appear non-partisan, someone who wants to get things done, who’ll reach across the aisle for solutions.
In other words, just what voters claim they want.
Meanwhile . . .
Flake’s got a possible problem: He was a co-sponsor of the House abortion bill that initially tried to distinguish types of rape, applying the law to what the original bill termed “forcible rape.”
Flake’s flakes have used a kind of convoluted explanation for Flake’s support; we’ll see how Arizona voters — an anti-abortion group most of the time — reacts to that.
Carmona has a tough road ahead in the next 50 days — this is a Republican state and Flake, despite Wil Cardon’s failed campaign, is seen as a solid conservative.
Hopefully we’ll see a couple of debates between the two, which might be a refreshing debate about ideas rather than labels.
But Flake’s ads suggest that the debate could quickly devolve into the kind of worthless name-calling we see all the time.
Azcvoices.com is a network of community bloggers created by The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News to highlight diverse viewpoints. Members' opinions do not represent the views of Republic Media.
Bio: Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.