Saturday, March 29, 2014

Behind the Ad: When did making fun of farmers in Iowa become smart politics?

By Richard K. Barry

Who: The Mark Jacobs (R) Senate campaign

Where: Iowa (in Eastern Iowa cable markets)

What's going on: Last week a video surfaced in which Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) makes a disparaging comment about Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), saying that Grassley was "a farmer from Iowa who never want to law school." In the clip Braley is addressing trial lawyers from Texas. 

Mark Jacobs, who is running in the crowded GOP primary for the open seat Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) will leave when he departs at the end of the year, has made use of the clip in a new ad. Braley is the only Democrat running for Harkin's seat.

Here are Braley's comments:
To put this in stark contrast, if you help me win this race you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone who's been literally fighting tort reform for thirty years.

Or, you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary."

Daily Kos reports that  there's a new Rasmussen poll, half of which was conducted after Braley's "farmer" comment came out: Braley: 41, Mark Jacobs (R): 38; Braley 40, Joni Ernst (R): 37; Braley: 40, Matt Whitaker (R): 36; Braley 44, Sam Clovis (R): 31.

Two things worth noting: Is it ever really smart to laugh at farmers in Iowa, and hasn't Mitt Romney's experience taught politicians that everything is now potentially being taped?

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