Republican Senate candidate George Allen on Wednesday released a new TV ad, the second featuring Kay Coles James, his secretary of health and human resource when he was governor.
“Impossible,” she says. “George Allen heard that before. He proved them wrong. I know. I worked for him. As governor, the Democrats controlled the legislature. George worked with them. Welfare reform. Ending parole. Reforming education. They cut taxes, grew our economy, created 300,000 jobs. Now it’s Washington’s turn.”
James made a similar pitch in an ad released in July, though that spot was limited to welfare reform. The first ad also had a more conventional feel, with James seated in a traditionally furnished living room. The new one shows her in what looks like a loft apartment, with exposed brick walls, a mod chandelier and certain key words, like “impossible” flashing across an armless burnt-orange couch.
Like the first ad, this one is part of a broader effort to soften and humanize Allen’s image following a 2006 reelection loss largely blamed on his use of a racial slur. Allen’s Democratic opponent has sought to play up the idea that Allen is too bullying and partisan to break through gridlock in Washington.
Democrats have also questioned James as a surrogate in an election in which Kaine has sought to make women’s health issues a focus. As director of public affairs for the National Right to Life Committee, James opposes abortion.
“George Allen’s claims of bipartisanship are what’s really impossible to believe for Virginians who saw him pit one group against another for four years as governor and another six years in Washington,” said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “Virginians already gave George Allen a turn at the wheel in Washington and what they got was votes for record cuts to education, increased gridlock, and reckless spending that turned massive surpluses into huge deficits.”