Yesterday, the struggling Freedom’s Watch released an attack ad against Georgia’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Martin, saying that he “failed to look out for Georgia’s families.” “First he actually helped block stiffer penalties for drunk drivers,” warns the voice in the ad, which echoes previous GOP ads. “And then, Martin voted against tougher sentences for domestic abuse.”
As it happens, Martin built much of his political reputation as an effective advocate for protecting children from criminals -- no doubt a product of having his then-8-year-old daughter kidnapped. So he made an ad responding to the Freedom's Watch ad by pointing this out. As you can see, it's incredibly effective.
Of course, this is all too reminiscent of the way Chambliss won in 2002 -- with Republican operatives assailing the patriotism of Max Cleland, a decorated war veteran who left limbs on the battlefield.
It may have worked in 2002. In 2008, though, the national mood is different. Recall what happened to Elizabeth Dole when she tried pulling similarly nasty tactics near the end of her campaign against Kay Hagan in North Carolina -- she was spanked by an even wider margin than polls had indicated.
Most people are tired of this nonsense -- they want serious people who will go to work to solve the nation's problems. Hopefully, the voters of Georgia will be thinking likewise.