Georgia's Republican governor blanketed the small screen this month with a close-up of him as a smiling, dimpled baby. In the same ad, (Sonny) Perdue kisses the downy head of an infant as the narrator, former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, reminds viewers that Perdue was a foster parent for babies awaiting adoption.
Meanwhile, babies abound in a new ad this week for (Mark) Taylor, a Democrat challenging Perdue. While the narrator talks about Taylor's plan for health care for children, lullaby-esque music plays as Taylor is swarmed by crawling and teetering babies. Taylor used babies to good effect in past campaign ads, as the big guy watching out for the little guy. The theme continues.
Note to candidates: I don't care if you were a cute baby. Nothing nauseates more than political commercials that go overboard in trying to humanize their subject. It's a particularly bad sign when a spouse appears in an ad; remember the Saxby Chambliss commercial featuring his wife: "You may know Saxby the statesman, but let me tell you about Saxby the man." Sorry, you lost me. I don't know Saxby the statesman.
Even worse was perennial candidate Guy Milner, who ran for, and lost, just about every open seat in Georgia during the 1990s. (He was the guy who opposed abortion yet rented office space to an abortion clinic). I recall his wife -- who, I should note, didn't tip me back in one of my former lives as a valet parker, securing my enmity for life -- showed up in an ad assuring that while her hubby was tough, he was also a "teddy bear" at home. Yech!
Hell, my candidacy for 5th grade class president had more dignity, though I admit to relying a bit too heavily on sloganeering: "They're coming from the moon to vote for Chirs Boone" and "Don't be a goon. Vote Chris Boone."