A new ad from Sen. Kelly Ayotte's (R-N.H.) reelection campaign would seem to be a pretty clever take on batting away negative attacks. The ad features Ayotte, a regular in the congressional women's softball game, swinging away at softballs/attacks from her opponents.
Local TV station WMUR even described it as a "unique new ad that she hopes will help cut through some of the noise."
One problem: It's not unique. It's been done before -- by another player in the congressional women's softball game, now-Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's (D-N.D.). Her ad launched in October 2012, before Heitkamp pulled an upset to join the Senate.
The ads start out with almost the same message:
AYOTTE: "I'm Kelly Ayotte, and when I take the plate for New Hampshire, I'm up against a political machine that plays dirty, throwing millions in false negative ads."
HEITKAMP: "When I decided to run for Senate, I knew they'd try to hit me with all sorts of stuff. I'm Heidi Heitkamp, and I could spent the whole campaign answering negative ads that aren't true."
Heitkamp's message is more about fighting powerful special interests, while Ayotte's is about protecting entitlements and creating jobs. Heitkamp is in a batting cage, while Ayotte is taking batting practice on a field.
Otherwise, though, the concepts are almost completely the same.
This is hardly the first time a concept for an ad has appeared in multiple ads. As we've written here, in recent years there have been a bevy of ads featuring candidates shooting increasingly powerful guns at things like Obamacare, cap and trade, government drones and even stand-ins for the Republicans and Democratic parties.
Ayotte's campaign didn't immediately comment on the similarities.