Carly Fiorina

The 2012 presidential campaign is gearing up, and that means it’s game-time for top political consultants—including veteran GOP ad man Fred Davis. Davis, who just came out with a slew of strange spots for Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, is known for his idiosyncratic m.o. Here is a sampling of his past work. Sonny Perdue  In the 2002 gubernatorial election in Georgia, Davis conceived of this spot depicting opponent Roy Barnes as a rat thumping through Atlanta.

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Ad Absurdum

The scene is rugged Western desert; the music is corny countrylite. A lone motorcyclist rides across the frame. Text flashes on screen: “IN 6 DAYS.” Followed by: “Did not become famous with his band ‘Wizard.’” What does any of this have to do with Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign? Well, that’s kind of unclear. In the days leading up to the announcement of his candidacy in mid-June, Huntsman released three Web videos, featuring the same lone rider, the same cheesy music, and a random fact about the former Utah governor.

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Coastal Comfort

This is hardly a surprise, but it appears the Pacific Coast states will give Democrats a nice sunset for an election day that's certainly been full of violent storms. If the exit polls are at all on track, not only are Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown romping to comfortable victories, but we may not have to wait days or weeks to see if Patty Murray will survive. There's still a close governor's race in Oregon to resolve (the exits in that race feature the biggest gender gap I've ever seen, which may be attributable to the fact that Republican Chris Dudley is a former NBA player), and seven or eig

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Conventional wisdom holds that global warming is a losing issue for political candidates. But that's certainly not the case in California, where Republicans are actually getting into trouble for opposing the state's climate law: A November ballot measure that would rescind California's landmark global warming bill until unemployment drops significantly has become an albatross for the Republican candidates for governor and U.S.

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Survivor

The morning after winning the Republican Senate primary in California, Carly Fiorina belly-flopped into treacherous political waters. Prepping for a TV interview, the former HP CEO was caught on a hot mic gleefully repeating a friend’s unflattering assessment of Democratic rival Barbara Boxer’s hair. (“Soooooooo yesterday,” Fiorina sniffed.) Now, I don’t know much about hip hairstyles. (I never got the fuss over Hillary’s headbands, and I find Palin’s poofy up-dos downright adorable.) But I do know it’s bad form to disparage a female pol’s coif. Men who go there are branded pigs.

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I waited in vain for Orly. We’d spoken twice that day over the phone, and Orly Taitz, leader of the birther movement and candidate for secretary of state in California’s Republican primary, had told me she’d be attending the Republican shindig at the Anaheim Hilton that evening. But that was when the Republican establishment was still in a mild panic over the possibility she would win. I suspect that losing by a disappointing margin—her opponent took about 75 percent of the vote—scotched her initial plans to show up.

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Off to the Races!

Political junkies rejoice! There are twelve states holding elections today, including ten primaries, one runoff, and one special-election runoff. Among these, the contests that have drawn most national attention are in California, South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. The following is an overview of why these primaries matter and what you should look for in the results. California: Mega-Money Chases Micro–Voter Interest The Governor's Race As I recently explained for TNR, citizens of the Golden State are in a very bad mood, even by the jaundiced national standards of Election 2010.

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Off to the Races!

Political junkies rejoice! There are twelve states holding elections today, including ten primaries, one runoff, and one special-election runoff. Among these, the contests that have drawn most national attention are in California, South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. The following is an overview of why these primaries matter and what you should look for in the results. California: Mega-Money Chases Micro–Voter Interest The Governor's Race As I recently explained for TNR, citizens of the Golden State are in a very bad mood, even by the jaundiced national standards of Election 2010.

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Carly Fiorina, running for the GOP Senate nomination in California, attacks Tom Campbell: The funny thing about this ad, aside from the clumsy over-the-top quality, is the metaphor. The message of the ad is that Campbell is an ideological deviant. All the other Republicans signed Grover Norquist's no-taxes-ever pledge, but Campbell refused. Campbell went off on his own and made a budget deal in order to prevent a fiscal collapse. And what's the metaphor the ad uses? Sheep. But not in a disparaging way. The good politicians are sheep, doing what Grover Norquist tells them to do.

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DeMint Condition

For all of Washington’s political polarization, the U.S. Senate remains a clubby place. Sure, lawmakers talk smack about the unparalleled malevolence of the opposition, but there is, in general, a high degree of respect for the institution, its members, and its time-honored Way of Doing Things. While the House is known for its ideological cowboys, demagogues, and revolutionaries, the Senate is where bright lines and rough edges tend to get smoothed out in the name of statesmanship and legislative compromise. Clearly, no one told this to Jim DeMint.

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