Barbara Buono’s sneaky new ad

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's opponent is out with a new ad, and it might be a candidate for sneakiest ad of the year.

At first glance, Democrat Barbara Buono's ad appears to be just a fun, cutesy new ad making light of her hard-to-pronounce last name -- comparing it to U2's Bono and Sonny Bono.

By the end though, the message is clear: I'm an Andrew Cuomo Democrat.

"That's Democrat Andrew Cuomo; I'm Democrat Barbara Buono," she says at the end, gesturing to a picture of the popular New York governor.

Buono's use of Cuomo is particularly interesting given how close Cuomo has been with Christie -- especially given their work on Hurricane Sandy-related issues in recent months. Cuomo also has sometimes endorsed against his party's nominee or withheld his endorsement altogether, so it's no cinch that he will back her candidacy.

Buono's ad doesn't say Cuomo has endorsed her, but it sure suggests that she'd like to be associated with his political brand -- which will be quite familiar to voters in the Garden State.

Cuomo's office and campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it gave Buono its blessing to feature Cuomo in the ad (as is common practice).

Update 3:54 p.m.: It's worth noting that it's not clear whether Buono has the funds to actually run the ad on TV (or if so, how much). She's at risk of becoming the first gubernatorial candidate to fall short of the maximum for matching funds.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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