Here at Campaign AdWatch, we see an awful lot of politically themed ads. And most of them are just awful, which stands to reason, since the people who make effective advertising are all too busy selling us Volkswagens and Axe Body Spray and Extenze and quick ways to pay off our subprime loans by signing up with shady ponzi schemes to sell classified ads to newspapers. But among this lesser class of political advertising, you are not likely to see a spot as poorly thought through as this recent bit of gaseous whimsy from Freedom's Watch.
Here's the back story: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently went on Larry King Live, and during their conversation, the topic of high gas prices came up. Pelosi noted the deleterious effects that Bush White House policy has had on prices at the pumps. But, during the conversation, Pelosi briefly misspoke and said that the cost of gas was "almost three times what it was when Bush took office...it was a dollar something when he took office, now it's $2.56 on average." The transcript of the interview reveals this:
LARRY KING: "I think $3.50 they're saying now."
SPEAKER PELOSI: "$3.50, oh, down six cents. It's higher where I'm from in California, sad to say."
Now, in case you are too daft to understand that "a dollar-something" multiplied by three does not really equal "$2.56 on average," the Freedom's Watch spot drives it home, repeating "$2.56 on average...$2.56 on average." It's like a scene from Wes Craven's "Third Period Home Ec Class Protractor Massacre."
Oh, but it gets better. Leaping to the defense of President Bush with all the frenzy and stupidity of a recently-clouted badger, Freedom's Watch lowers the boom on the "out of touch" Pelosi by showing the viewers the actual prices of gas, revealing that the cost is actually...much, much HIGHER than "$2.56 on average."