Let's discuss a bit more about the RNC bimbo ad Ken Mehlman is running down in Tennessee.
If you watch the ad closely it is clear that the racist appeal -- about Harold Ford having sex with white women -- is the centerpiece, the entire point of the ad.
Here's how you know.
The ad has a number of faux man on the street interviews. Each is a spoof based on GOP policy talking points. So for instance, a hunter is interviewed and he says "Ford's right. I do have too many guns." An older guy says "When I die, Harold Ford will let me pay taxes again."
Not my cup of tea as far as humor goes. And I'd be surprised if Harold Ford is a big gun control man. But pretty standard fair for 'funny' political ads. And each addressed to a question of public policy.
But then you see that one 'man on the street interview' isn't quite like the rest. It's almost like those old Sesame Street segments, one of these things is not like the other
It's the one spot with the platimum blonde with no visible clothes on, vamping "I met Harold at the Playboy Party."
What policy issue is she talking about? It's not connected to anything. It's just, 'I'm a loose white woman. I hooked up with Harold at the Playboy mansion. And I can't wait for him to do me again.'
Once you watch the ad again after realizing that, it sticks out like a sore thumb. What becomes clear is that the funny man on the street interview clips are padding, filler meant to make the 'Harold does white chicks' blurb appear to fit into a larger whole, just one of a number of 'man on the street' clips.
Mehlman says he doesn't think race is an issue in the ad. But face it, the entire ad was built around this one hot button racist appeal. It's not even close. Late Update
: And one other point, after watching the entire Russert-Mehlman segment now posted
at Crooks & Liars, I think Russert handled Mehlman's bamboozlement better than I originally thought. Mehlman's argument is really weak. But it seems possible he was hanging his argument on a technical truth -- about which we'll say more later. And Russert came back at him several times on the issue of the ad's transparently racist content. We're still trying to get to the bottom of the regs. So we'll update as we go.