HICKS COLUMN: GOP ads nothing but talk
There are probably a few people out there who just love all these campaign ads on TV right now.
But for those of us who don't own TV stations, this whole first-in-the-South primary thing is getting a bit annoying. This past weekend, every Tom Brady touchdown pass led into this little series of 30-second, humorless spots (paraphrased, of course):
Commercial 1: Who cares if Mitt Romney is a robot who enjoys firing people and tied his dog to the top of the car? And does it matter that he's the architect behind Obamacare? He can beat Obama … and that's the only issue that matters.
Commercial 2: Newt Gingrich started the Republican Revolution, balanced the budget and shut down the government … er, fought Bill Clinton to a standstill. He's the only one who can beat Obama.
Commercial 3: Newt, you promiscuous, lobbying windbag. Only tea party favorite Rick Santorum can beat Obama.
It makes you wonder: Are these generic ads, or do they really think South Carolina voters are that stupid?
Don't answer that.
Lose one for the Gipper?
These guys all claim to be disciples of Ronald Reagan, but it's obvious they didn't learn anything.
The Gipper was funny, charismatic -- he could turn a phrase. This gang of GOP contenders is just a bunch of angry, rich white guys. They don't even put up a pretense that they have any other issues. All they say is, "I can beat Obama."
Christopher Lamb, College of Charleston communications professor and author of books such as "I'll Be Sober in the Morning" and "The Sound and Fury of Sarah Palin," poses a semi-serious conspiracy theory: Are these guys trying to get Obama re-elected?
You have to admit that a black Democrat in the White House does wonders for Republican fundraising.
"They all say, 'We can beat Obama,' and that's the end of the sentence," Lamb said. "That's all they have. Obama is vulnerable in areas, but you don't see that. And the debates have all the intellectual gravitas of 'I'm rubber and you're glue.' "
Now that's what you call the straight-talk express.
Basically, Lamb said, these guys have collectively spent enough on campaign ads to send a manned mission to Mars, and for what?
"Are they doing any good at this point?" Lamb said. "They just go from silly to sillier, and now I think we're into pathetic."
What's pathetic is that this country has real problems, and none of these guys offer a way out. Actually, if Republican voters want to beat Obama, they would have looked at national polls and saw that Jon Huntsman had the best chance of beating him. But he wasn't nearly crazy enough for them.
So now South Carolina voters -- who brought you Nikki Haley and Ken Ard -- are supposed to pick the next president?
At least these guys have done one thing for the economy: They've pumped millions into this state in advertising.
Too bad it's trickling down on us.
Follow Brian Hicks on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.