It’s early August, the November 8th election is less than 100 days away, and here in Ohio TV has become nothing more than a string of political advertisements that never end, a binge-watch session no one asked for and no one wants.
The senate race between Rob Portman and Ted Strickland is particularly close and contentious and expensive in ways surprising even in the modern era of yuuuge-money elections. The race has thus inspired so many ads, attack ads, and counter-attack ads that if you see either man on the street you’re likely to run screaming in the other direction out of fear for your very soul.
I enjoy feeling that the world isn’t complete and utter shit, so I avoid political ads whenever possible. The only place where I’m captive to them is at the gym, where seven TVs showing seven different channels hang in the front of the room, meaning that at least one of them is always showing a political ad. These ads try to convey in no uncertain terms that Rob Portman/Ted Strickland are the absolute worst. Both men would genuinely enjoy keying my car/RSVPing “yes” to my wedding and then not showing up/spitting in my mouth, etc..
Here is what these ads are all about, as best as I can tell by having watched them only with the sound off.
· In 1976 Ted Strickland drove down the DC streets in a bitchin’ Camaro.
· Young Ted could get it.
· Old Ted bores people in front a chain link fence. That man would love for Ted to stop touching him and that teenager is really trying to think up an excuse to leave.
· Ted is terrible and once touched Hilary Clinton’s hand and we have photographic evidence so he can never deny it.
· Ted wears khaki jackets.
· Ted wears transition lenses.
· Ted will steal your uncle’s style.
· Ted is such an DC insider that 80% of all DC-area Yelp restaurant reviews were written by Ted.
· This frozen image of Ted is preparing to spit directly into your face.
· Vote Rob Portman.
· We have video of Rob Portman laughing with a black man, but then the image freezes so we can know that somehow that moment was a lie.
· Rob spoke on the floor of the US Senate so you know he’s the worst and not to be trusted.
· Rob’s hair was once so dark that gazing at it was like falling into a black hole.
· Rob voted for bills eight different times and they each have inscrutable numbers but, trust us, they were for bad things.
· Rob is the reason steel factories are not aesthetically appealing.
· Ted also speaks to black people, but he does so in a serious, trust-worthy manner.
· Ted also voted for bills with inscrutable numbers but the difference is these were good bills for good things.
· Ted is pulling off that fleece vest.
· Rob once appeared in front of a Chinese flag and is therefore the complete worst, case closed.
· Vote Ted!
· Rob is looking gaunt in that photo. I am worried that he is not getting enough protein.
· The wallpaper in the background matches the wallpaper my grandmother had in her living room, exact same design, only on her wallpaper the flowers were gold.
· I just realized my grandmother was FABULOUS.
· There’s no way that Ohio outline was hidden by that picture frame. Five seconds in and my suspension of disbelief is already ruined..
· Rob has been sending your job to other countries since he had brown hair.
· He’s pushing jobs south and he won’t stop until he reaches Antarctica!
· Could you find China on an unmarked map? Never ever? We know. That's why we marked it for you.
· Seriously, never photograph Rob Portman from below unless you’re going for that Skeletor look.
· Vote Ted!
· Open on: Ted Strickland and his potbelly captured on CCTV.
· He admits to having human frailty. KILL HIM!
· Here’s a nice video of Ted waving at all of his bad choices.
· Ted himself refused to tuck point that building.
· Ted himself is wholly 100% responsible for all of the local economic fallout that occurred after the 2008 recession.
· Ted told those men to walk away from their jobs for forever.
· But why was Ted even in that room? Was this a deposition? A botched kidnapping that didn’t work because Ted never picked up on the fact he was kidnapped and thought it was just an interview for a low budget magazine?
· When the light hits him right, Ted smiles just like a Batman villain
· Vote Rob!
In looking for links to these ads, I started Googling “Rob Strickland,” who is not a person currently running for senate. I think that watching these ads all in a row, even with the sound off, made me so sad that I created a world in which these two men were not only friends, but lovers, and had a child. And that child’s name was Rob Strickland. And he is the best of both of them: loves China, hates Ohio, touches Hilary Clinton, is disgusted by jobs, can navigate DC without a GPS, was an awful governor, is an awful senator, and would really appreciate your vote.