Politics

New Smith ad in Penn. Senate race shows Sen. Casey as an empty chair

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Republican Tom Smith’s upstart Senate campaign in Pennsylvania is up with a new ad portraying Democratic Sen. Bob Casey as an empty chair.

The ad, titled “Invisible Senator,” plays on Clint Eastwood’s much-maligned convention speech, in which he spoke to an empty chair that he pretended was President Barack Obama. It attacks Casey, now running for his second term, as a career politician who has failed to accomplish anything substantial over the last six years.

“America’s troubles are mounting,” says a female narrator as ominous music plays. “Yet career politician Bob Casey voted for higher taxes, to slash Medicare, and in six years, hasn’t passed a single bill – not even to create jobs in the worst economy since the great depression.”

“Casey’s been called the Senate’s most inefective legislator,” the narrator ads, as the camera zooms in on an empty chair at a desk in Casey’s office. “He’s the invisible Senator.”

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Until several weeks ago, it was Smith who was the invisible one. Political observers wrote off his challenge to the popular Casey and the state was expected to be an easy hold for the Democrats.

Casey is still the frontrunner, but recent polls have shown his once-commanding lead shrink to the single digits. That’s a coup for Smith, a political neophyte who is still rather unknown in the state and is self-funding his campaign against Casey, the well-known scion of one of the state’s premier political dynasties.

The Smith campaign attributed their success in part to the fact that they have been running more tv ads than Casey.

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