Rob Cornilles, the Republican congressional candidate in OR-1, has a new TV ad up. It's a cute ad - he's jogging through the district, past various landmarks and small town scenes.
At the end of the ad, he stops and turns to the camera and delivers his closing line. The words are fairly meaningless pablum - it's the location that's so bizarre. Check it out.
Didja catch that? He's standing on the Eastbank Esplanade, with the downtown Portland skyline behind him. Setting aside the questionable politics of being the "downtown Portland" candidate in a district that runs all the way to McMinnville and Astoria - the basic fact is that on his run through the district, he actually wound up in Earl Blumenauer's district. After all, the Willamette River is the dividing line between OR-1 and OR-3.
And one more thing. This ad is a direct rip-off of an ad by the Mayor of Austin, Texas - Lee Leffingwell, a Democrat. Check it out.
Political ads aren't exactly high art, and are often derivative. But the Cornilles ad is almost a shot-for-shot reproduction of Leffingwell's ad. First the wide shot, then the shoe closeup, then the natural setting, then across the bridge, then up a slope, then to the stone-bricked pathway near the bridge, then turn to the camera to close. Cornilles has faster cuts, and mixes in some shuttered small businesses, but it's quite a cinematic tribute to the liberal Democrat environmentalist from Austin.
Personally, I'm hoping for the SNL parody ad, Happy Fun Ball.
Update: Politico's Dave Catanese found another ad that looks similar - and it's Earl Blumenauer's ad from 1996! In that ad, Blumenauer runs through Portland as a (rather ominous) voiceover explains all the great things Blumenauer had done on the Portland City Council.
Update: But wait, there's more! Mitt Romney, Ashwin Madia, and Kelly Ayotte have all gone running in TV spots. But I think the Cornilles ad steals more from the Austin ad than simply the concept - as it's nearly a shot-for-shot tribute.