Matt Bevin, the tea party candidate running against Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary for this year's midterm election, released a new ad translating the the incumbent's ad from Wednesday in a closed captioned homage to Key and Peele's Obama anger translator. The main takeaway Bevin wishes to impart is that McConnell wants to punch conservatives in the nose all the time. A similar theme can be found in most tea party campaign ads this season.
The "punch in the nose" refrain refers to a donor call McConnell made on Oct. 30, 2013. McConnell told the donors that the Senate Conservatives Fund was full of a "bunch of bullies" he planned to “punch … in the nose,” according to the Washington Examiner. Breitbart.com, which first reported the call, said the senator's remarks were directed toward the whole tea party movement, which is how Bevin's campaign seems to interpret them in this video.
Bevin wasn't the first person with basic Internet skills to play with McConnell's new ad. On Wednesday, a series of videos appeared that mashed up the campaign ad with title sequences from '90s sitcoms like "Family Matters"and "Full House." (They are from an account called "Mitch McConnell" that is not affiliated with the senator.)
Slate's Dave Weigel reached out to McConnell's campaign, which said it liked the spin-offs and that it is "going to have some fun, too," with perhaps its own '90s inspired campaign materials. We can only hope this means that the McConnell campaign will start a Tumblr featuring his smiling face every single day. When a campaign is blessed with a smile that instantly sends the Internet aflutter, Republicans have learned that following the Herman Cain school of advertising is a best practice.
However, it is unlikely the McConnell team is quite as amused with Bevin's bit of fun. Here is the entire ad, presented in screenshots for your reading pleasure, a "Howl" for the tea party generation.
Like many conservative attacks of incumbent Democratic and Republican legislators, the ad mentions the debt ceiling and the Affordable Care Act multiple times. After the Republican win in Florida this week, this attack is likely to continue, whether with humorous undertones or not, until November -- regardless of whether Obamacare had any impact on the congressional race's outcome.
In the latest Bluegrass Poll for the Kentucky senate race, which was released on Feb. 7, Bevin trails McConnell, 55 to 29 percent. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic candidate in the race, led McConnell by 4 percentage points. The Rotherberg Report/Roll Call ratings say that the race leans Republican.