That old campaign magic casts its spell

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

As most of you know, there is less than a month left before the election.

I am glad we are almost there. It means I can reclaim my answering machine without having candidates leave pre-recorded messages, which they attempt to camouflage as live calls on my machine. Soon, I will not be bombarded with e-mails telling me everybody, but whoever you are for, is a convicted-felon, wife-beating, Satan worshipper.

I'll be able to turn on the radio without hearing another Roy Barnes ad with country hick accents. Does he think that resonates with voters down here? Well, come to think of it, judging by some of our locally elected leaders, maybe it does.

With this said, I'm still stunned to learn that Christine O'Donnell, Republican candidate for United States senator in Delaware, started a new ad campaign Tuesday which begins by her stating, "I am not a witch."

Well, all-righty then, since we've moved that off the board, she's my candidate.

Listen, no one will mistake me for Lee Atwater or any other famous campaign strategist, but if you must start a campaign ad by stating you are not a witch, perhaps the decision to run was not as well vetted out as one would have liked.

Poor Christine, it seems about 11 or 12 years ago she was on a talk show, for reasons I still do not know, and admitted, in her words, to "dabbling in witchcraft." She now says it was a youthful act of curiosity, etc. -- sort of like dabbling in drug dealing or dabbling in the pornographic trade.

As most of you have figured out long ago, I'm pretty hardcore Republican, but I do have my limits. If I had to list the top 10 disqualifying characteristics for a U.S. Senate candidate, being a witch might not be No. 1, but it would probably make the list.

This ad makes me wonder if a rash of such defenses may soon arise.

How about, "Hi, I'm John Brown and I want to be your congressman. I am not a child molester. To tell the truth she looked every bit 18, maybe even 20. How could I know she had a fake ID?"

Or maybe: "I want all the voters in my district to know I am not a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Oh, one or two pillow fights got a little out of hand, but it was youthful indiscretion."

Who knows? You may hear, "I am not a member of the Taliban. I may have attended a few pre-suicide bombing meetings, but, come on, I do have some morals."

Or Perhaps, "I may have dabbled in cannibalism, but I grew up on a farm and we had a bad crop year."

I'm not sure what to make of the whole thing. Perhaps it's good we've now entered a new realm of honesty and truthfulness in political advertisement. On the other hand, I think I might vote for a witch right now, just as long as she promises to get us out of the mess we're in.

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.