The brief period of nostalgia for the campaign season continued to recede Thursday with the release of one of the first official ads of the 2012 cycle.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee broke the ice with a comical attack ad targeted at freshman Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who must seek reelection in 2012 after taking victory in a special election to fill the seat of the late Robert Byrd.
In the spot, the NRSC takes aim at the ties between Manchin, a moderate Democrat, and President Barack Obama. Playing off a cheesy infomercial trying to hock album compilations of famous duos, the ad creates the fictional twosome of "Joe & O," complete with a logo of the president and senator appearing to nuzzle.
After recalling a number of Manchin's past positions, such as providing rhetorical support for the stimulus and health care reform, the NRSC takes aim at what they see as the latest transgression: the West Virginia Democrat's Wednesday vote against repealing the health care law. Every Democrat opposed the measure.