With a new report out today that campaign ad spending this year is outpacing 2006 levels, we welcome you to a new weekly feature on Hotsheet. Hot Ads of the Week will bring you the new, unique, crazy and funny political ads of the week and let you vote for your favorite.
We will highlight ads that getting buzz or ads that are examples of trends we are seeing around the country. But we'll also need your help, so if you see an ad that catches your attention for being too harsh or too funny or even too bizarre, let us know at email@example.com.
We'll begin with Tea Party favorite, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota. She's got more than two million dollars to spend this cycle and she's up with her first ad -- a unique political ad that features an actor standing as a guide to the election. At some point, you think he's going to tell you there's a new financing deal on used cars.
"Jim the election guy" - appears in the ad and promises to help "sort things out for this upcoming political campaign."
Attacking opponent Democrat Tarryl Clark, Jim says "she's got a huge record for us to check out - I'm just getting started, but one thing's obvious, Tarryl Clark loves taxes - she's supported raising them every year she's been in office. There's a lot more we can learn about taxing Tarryl, I'll be back soon."
When he says Tarryl Clark loves taxes, half of the screen reads "Tarryl Clark (hearts) Taxes" like the "I love NYC" t-shirts.
It's a unique ad that promises more of the same style of attack ad in future spots from Jim the Election Guy and Michele Bachmann
Number 2 is a refreshing ad from Colorado Gubernatorial candidate, Democrat John Hickenlooper.
"I guess I'm not a very good politician, because I can't stand negative ads. Every time I see one, I feel like need to take a shower"
Hickenlooper does just that, some 11 times--all fully clothed. One of the funnier moments is when he's in the shower with his suit and tie on and uses his tie to wipe his face.
"With all the challenges we face, Colorado needs a governor who brings people together to create jobs and cut government spending. That's why I won't run negative ads,"
In an era of negative Ads, Hickenlooper is definitely getting buzz for running a "clean" campaign.
Up next is a traditional negative ad from what most likely will become the nastiest campaign of the year--the Nevada Senate race, or as I like to call it, the battle against Harry Reid.
Yes, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is up for re-election and he faces a determined challenger, Republican Sharron Angle, another favorite of the Tea Party. Angle, who was a little known former state representative before beating a crowded field for the GOP nomination, has recently gotten help from the national Republican party in staffing and consulting. This ad may very well be the result of that.
The ad features the traditional announcer voice over video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and Reid.
"It may be the most Tragic love story of our time..Pelosi, Obama and Harry Reid. Together they promised to change america and boy did they," says the announcer sarcastically with soft romantic music playing.
"A 787 billion dollar (with all nine zeros spelled out) stimulus that failed and spending so reckless its led to record deficits and skyrocketing unemployment. They say you can't buy love but we've certainly paid a heavy price."
The images of the "love" line are Reid hugging Mr. Obama and then Pelosi. It's a classic attack ad and its one we're going to see a lot of this year, Republicans trying to connect their Democrat opponents to the unpopular and liberal congressional leaders and a president whose approval ratings are below 50 percent.
Number 4 is a Democrat running for re-election in a very competitive district in Ohio. What you wouldn't know from this ad is that he is a sitting member of Congress and that he's a Democrat.
Rep. Steve Driehaus is running for re-election against former Representative Steve Chabot, who Driehaus beat in 2008. The ad features Driehaus talking to the voters in a very calm conversational way. He says he approves this message because "Congressman Chabot and I have clear cut differences."
Driehaus says he supports tax cuts for 99% of Ohioans and tax relief for small business to create jobs, a bill that Chabot opposed. Driehaus says he is "fiscally conservative" and tells the viewer that "I opposed pay raises for myself, he took pay raises for himself, there's a clear difference"
It is just that Driehaus doesn't say that he is a Democrat and makes no mention that he is a sitting member of Congress. The campaign is "Driehaus for Congress" with no mention of re-election, though he does talk about votes he's taken.
Number 5 is a recent ad that should get mentioned because it's from Ben Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle. This week, the younger Quayle won the Republican nomination for congress is Arizona's 3rd Congressional district.
The ad features Quayle speaking right to the camera. The impact of the ad is felt in the first few seconds. "Barack Obama is worst president in history," he says coolly. "My generation will inherit a weakened country - drug cartels in mexico, tax cartels in DC, what's happened to America?" Quayle asks.
The end of the ad brings the shock full circle. Quayle, still speaking calmly and with swagger of his thirty-something years says: "Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place"
And since this is the first of our reports, we'll end with an oldie but a goodie.
Bill Cooper who lost his battle for the GOP nomination for Congress in Michigan's 2nd district reprised the famous "Daisy" ad, run by President Lyndon Johnson's re-election campaign in 1964.
Instead of framing the decision to vote around national security, as the original ad did with a young girl counting picked daisy petals to mirror the countdown to the seconds before a nuclear attack, the new ad uses the young girl counting the daisy petals to mark the growing national debt, counting each petal as "six trillion, seven trillion, eight trillion.."
Under a montage of grim economic headlines and images, the narrator says "years ago we feared destruction from others, now our greatest threat is from within. The stakes are too high to elect another career politician or a former athlete. Vote Bill Cooper for congress. Constitutional Conservative, Job Creator, and proven leader."
It was a good ad that got a lot of buzz, but in the end didn't get the candidate enough votes as Cooper finished fourth in a crowded field.
What's Your Favorite Ad of the Week? Vote below and we'll let you know the winner next week:
Robert Hendin is a CBS News senior political producer. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here.