“Are you ready?”
That’s the overriding message of the first TV ad of Tom Kean Jr. in CD-7.
Ready for what?
That would be taking on “the progressives.”
Kean’s 30-second spot begins with AOC (of course) ranting about something and then moves on to a photo of the Speaker of the House and a condemnation of “Pelosi puppets.”
Incumbent Tom Malinowski pops up as well as the announcer rails against “scandal plagued politicians screwing up this country.”
Before Kean gets a rematch with Malinowski – he lost by about 5,000 votes in 2020 – he needs to get by the primary where a handful of candidates are coming at him from the right.
While that seems to be a foregone conclusion, Kean is apparently taking no chances. His spot seeks to establish himself as a sincere conservative.
He is described as “pro-cop,” “pro-border security” and an “inflation fighting conservative leader,” although just what Kean will do to fight inflation is not specified – at least not now.
And just for good measure, the ad shows a clip of Kean talking on Fox news about sex ed curriculum in New Jersey schools. Talk about covering all the bases.
It’s never prudent to analyze political ads too closely. After all, regardless of party, they tend to offer simple solutions and wild exaggerations, For example, Kean’s ad shows gas prices rising to above $5 a gallon. Well, maybe in California, but not in Hunterdon County. Sure, gas prices are high, but not that high.
Then, there’s the “guilt” by association argument.
To many on the right, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Nancy Pelosi are among the top “villains” of the day.
But this type of thing goes in both directions.
Kevin McCarthy, who was in New Jersey last summer for Kean’s kickoff, just made news by lying about wanting Donald Trump to resign after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Problem was it was caught on tape.
Let’s not overlook Marjorie Taylor Greene who most recently suggested that the Catholic Church’s support for helping refugees is really the work of Satan.
Clearly, both parties have those who offer fodder to the other side. Concentrating on issues truly germane to CD-7 may be the best approach here.