State Auditor General Jack Wagner is up with his first (I believe) TV ad in the Pittsburgh market. I can't find the spot online yet -- if I do, I'll post a link here -- but spotted it on TV this morning. The ad features Wagner touting his record as auditor general: Much as he does in candidates' forums and other events, Wagner contends that his tenure in the position makes him uniquely qualified to ferret out government waste and hold costs down.
With this ad, three of the four Democrats running for governor are on the airwaves locally. Joe Hoeffel is the only candidate I have yet to see a spot from locally. (The reason is pretty obvious: Hoeffel doesn't have a lot of money, and when your campaign strategy relies on your rivals dividing up the western PA vote, you aren't gonna spend too much time or money there.)
The striking thing about Wagner's spot is the decidedly old-school production values. It's a one-shot of Wagner speaking directly into the camera, and the on-screen text is in a font that made me nostalgic for killer rabbits and Billy beer. This may be a reflection of the fact that Wagner doesn't have much more money than Hoeffel ... or it could be that Wagner just knows his electorate, and that he's playing to a base of voters who would like to see more of Abe Vigoda on the TV.
Oh, and in other gubernatorial news, word is out that the folks trying to save Braddock Hospital will be protesting outside Dan Onorato's office at noon.
UPDATE: This is the last time I'm EVER posting before my second cup of coffee.
A couple hours after I wrote this, Wagner campaign press spokesman J.J. Abbott got in touch to say he thought the advertisement I saw was this one, but I don't think so. Then he said the only other ad he believed was running in the Pittsburgh area was this one. But while the Capitol building backdrop looks familiar, the ad I saw ... or THOUGHT I saw ... didn't involve a discussion of constitutional conventions.
The funny thing is ... the FONT in both of these ads looks exactly as I remember seeing it this morning. I've been making fun of its retro appeal, but I guess it's a pretty good design. After all, it's certainly stuck with me.
Is it possible that I've watched so many political ads that I've simply begun to hallucinate about ads that don't even exist? Such an outcome wouldn't be entirely unexpected, I guess ... though I'd be disappointed if my hallucinations were that straightforward. I mean, I'd have thought that when the delusions came, they'd be in the form of Willie Horton questioning Joe Sestak's military service whilst pulling the petals from a daisy or something. Or it could be footage of Arlen Specter riding around in a tank, or telling jokes about Bob Dole's penis.
Or wait a minute ... did one of those things actually happen? I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT'S REAL ANYMORE.
In any case, Abbott tells me that the Wagner campaign has actually been advertising locally for several days now. I guess I missed the ads because my wife is apparently spiking my coffee with peyote or something.