Last week, President Obama gave brief remarks in Martha's Vineyard after the Islamic State released a video of journalist James Foley's beheading. Afterward, Obama returned to his vacation and a few rounds of golf, and pundits and the press began to question his decision to have fun so soon after a solemn statement.
The debate could have stopped there, as most quarrels over presidential vacations usually do, but now criticism of Obama's vacation has crept into the midterms. Allen Weh, a Republican running against a long shot campaign against incumbent New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall this fall, has used Foley's death in a campaign ad released today, a decision that could earn the candidate as much criticism as the events that caused him to make it. (News outlets that chose to use stills from the ISIS video faced much disapproval.)
The ad features voice-overs from past remarks by Obama and Udall and ominous piano music, played over images of Obama golfing, dancing and having fun, juxtaposed with images of unrest in the Middle East, polling numbers from NBC and the Wall Street Journal on public disapproval of American foreign policy and the video of Foley's killer. The ad ends by saying, "To Change Washington, You Must Change Your Senator."
Real Clear Politics' polling average has Udall up by nearly 16 percentage points in the race.