One of the dumbest, and thoroughly bipartisan, mistakes political campaigns make is to fail to get outside the Beltway long enough to craft an ad that will be understood by those you are trying to influence. For years, the Republicans have run against Nancy Pelosi but, you know what? Most Americans don’t know who Pelosi is, or who their own congressman is for that matter.
Now the Democrats are trying to make John Boehner and Joe Barton the poster-boys for an out-of-touch Washington Republican Party. The DNC introduced the two Republican leaders in a new ad but it won’t work any better than the attacks on Pelosi worked. It gets my award for worst ad of the year.
I understand how this happens. If you are a Republican working on the Hill, the problem you confront everyday, the person standing in your way, is Pelosi. Ditto for the Dems: Boehner and Barton are your main, day-in, day-out adversaries. But, the operative word there is “your.” Pelosi and Boehner are not in the average American’s way; high unemployment, under-funded mass transit, falling home prices, these are the things that are in the way of most Americans and both parties should stick to that script and leave the Capitol Hill personalities out of it.