|By Mike Argento, York Daily Record, Pa.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
There really is an art to it. Politicians just can't go out and tell lies. OK, well, they can.
But the good ones, the ones that get away with it, bring some skill to the party.
Let's say you would like to create the impression, say, that your opponent once killed a hobo without coming out and saying that your opponent actually killed a hobo because the possibility exists that your opponent may not have killed a hobo. You have to spin a web of non sequiturs that, collectively, result in people believing that your opponent once killed a hobo. You know how this works. My opponent was once in Sheboygan. A hobo was killed once in Sheboygan. My opponent has never denied killing a hobo. And so on.
You have to repeat the phrase "killed a hobo" as many times as possible, dropping it into campaign speeches, everyday conversations and the occasional Tweet. You have to be able to sell the "killed a hobo" story with the kind of fake sincerity that comes naturally to skilled politicians.
It takes commitment and craft to make it not just plausible, but probable, that your opponent once killed a hobo.
It's not as easy as it looks.
Which is why the
These guys -- I know there are women candidates, I'm using the term generically, OK? -- are terrible at it.
Well, a few of them are.
So she draws the conclusion that Wolf is a bad person, or at least a bad businessperson.
Actually, her ad makes
Gee, what happened between 2006 and 2009? Only the near complete collapse of the international economy, led by a bunch of
On its face, it appears to be a well-crafted political ad. It throws out some facts, or fact-like substances, to draw a conclusion that isn't exactly the truth, but not exactly a lie, following a time-tested formula for such things.
It also assumes that voters have the attention spans of meth-addicted squirrels and can't remember anything that happened six years ago.
Similar to that is state Treasurer
McCord also has an ad that attacks Wolf for allowing his company to sell kitchen cabinets made in
Which finally brings us to the one of the most incomprehensible ads of the campaign.
The ad says, "While Wolf served in
Wolf was revenue secretary, and as such, his principle duty was collecting taxes and handing big lottery winners big checks at press conferences. The revenue secretary has nothing to do with raising or lowering taxes. (Not that it has anything to do with anything, but during the two years Wolf served in former Gov.
And it wasn't higher taxes that led to people losing their jobs. It was that thing that happened a few years back, remember, the looting of the national economy by the aforementioned
The ad ends showing a Jeep -- Wolf drives a Jeep, in case you didn't know -- being overshadowed by one of those huge, jacked-up pickup trucks that screams "overcompensation." I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean, but I think Corbett might be trying to tell us something and, speaking for the public, keep it to yourself, governor.
There is one ad that does speak the truth. And it's one of Corbett's. In it, he says, "I wasn't sent to
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