Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is up with a new re-election ad today that probably won’t do much to alter his seemingly-inevitable path to defeat at the hands of former Gov. John Hickenloooper.
Gardner’s latest TV spot, which you can view below, continues on his 2020 theme of commercials that are, frankly, pretty dumb. In this ad, Gardner reminds voters (for some inexplicable reason) that Hickenlooper is a former brew pub owner. The implication is that Hickenlooper is the kind of candidate that you could “have a beer with,” which is not usually something that you want to say about your opponent. But Gardner also makes sure to tell voters that he, too, enjoys beer. Neat!
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh would be proud.
We’re not exaggerating — this is really how Gardner’s new ad begins.
“Let’s get down to some real differences between me, and John Hickenlooper,” says Gardner. “First, Hickenlooper owns a brewery. And me? I just like beer.”
At least Gardner doesn’t go so far as to point out how Hickenlooper’s brew-pub developments have been a big success in cites like Colorado Springs (Gardner’s ad was shot at Bourbon Brothers Tavern in Colorado Springs).
After Gardner reaches for his glass of beer, the ad then cuts to a few shots of Hickenlooper previously claiming that he wouldn’t really like to be a U.S. Senator. Gardner’s campaign is convinced that this is a winning message, nevermind that IT DIDN’T WORK when they tried it back in June. But that was, like, two whole months ago, amiright?
This vapid advertisement might also be an effort to get ahead of negative ads that are surely coming to a television near you at some point: Highlighting Gardner’s attendance at a $1,000-per-bottle Krug champagne soiree in Palm Beach, Florida back in February.
But, but, Cory likes (light) beer!
Whatever the reasons behind this ad, history suggests that Gardner is now firmly on the road to defeat in November. We’re reminded of this (RIP) Rocky Mountain News column from Mike Littwin during the final days of the 2003 Denver Mayoral race:
You can see Don Mares’ problem.
You can see it, in fact, all weekend if you turn on your TV and watch Mares’ belated entry into the world of political humor.
In Mares’ final campaign ad, he’s the one sliding the mug of badly drawn beer across the bar. “I don’t know much about beer,” he is saying, as the mug crashes, off camera, to the floor…
…And yet, in the end, what the ad mainly accomplishes is to reinforce the Hickenlooper phenomenon.
It’s a pretty solid rule of thumb that if you are talking about one of your opponent’s strengths — in this case, Hickenlooper’s long-spun tale as a brewmaster — then you are most definitely not winning.
This is the sort of ad that you make when you are teetering on the edges of a double-digit loss and you simply have nothing left to say to argue your case for re-election.
This is quintessentially Cory Gardner.