Hot Ads of the Week: The Gloves Come Off

Here we go -- the last week of the election -- the last week of Hot Ads! The gloves are off in this last week as outside groups and campaigns spent millions this week to hammer their opponents and drive their messages home to voters.


Sestak Cleans Up

We'll start with Joe Sestak and his dog Belle. "This is Belle," he says. "My family loves Belle, but she can make a mess, and we have to clean it up," he adds, over video of his cute poodle-mix dog chewing up the couch and playing with Sestak's daughter. The Democrat continues: "I think about Belle when I see Congressman Toomey's ads attacking me. It made me sick to bailout the banks, but I had to clean up the mess left behind by these guys," he says, pointing to a picture of his opponent, former Congressman Pat Toomey, and President George W. Bush.

He says that Toomey and Bush let "Wall Street run wild" and that he, and his party, had to rescue the economy. The ad steals an image from a Toomey ad showing him blaming Sestak for voting for the Wall Street bailout. Here's where the ad takes off. Sestak says: "Now Pat Toomey is attacking me for cleaning up his mess." He says this as he is throwing a bag of dog excrement in the trash, holding the bag up to the camera. The ad ends with Sestak and Belle together. "We deserve leaders who solve problems instead of playing politics," he says.


Angle Hits Obama

Number two takes us to the Hot Ad 2010 election epicenter -- Nevada -- where the hits just keep coming. This is a closing argument ad from Republican Sharron Angle. Like many ads, what this one boasts in anger, it lacks in context.

The announcer starts over pictures of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama: "Harry Reid and Barack Obama - together they promised change."

The ad then shows clips of Obama: "Don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas." "You can't go take a trip to Las Vegas," he says on the video clips. The announcer continues over the usual montage of suffering people and foreclosed homes: "What change did that bring to Las Vegas? We now suffer heart breaking job losses while our state now leads the nation in home foreclosures and bankruptcies." The ad ends with a very punchy line that is indicative of this election: "They promised change, now it's our turn."

Now for some context - Reid has hit Angle on her opposition to the massive development project in Vegas, CityCenter, which his campaign says creates tens of thousands of jobs -- so naturally, this ad fails to mention that. Additionally, the Obama sound bites are taken out of context.

Here's what Obama really said: "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices." Obama made a few references to Vegas while telling people not to gamble away their life savings.


Crazy for You

In ad number 3: The ads from the West Virginia Senate race may take the cake for impact in this election. First Democrat Joe Manchin took dead aim, firing a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill and through the Obama agenda itself. Now, he's up with an ad against his Republican opponent, John Raese.

The ad features many things that Raese has said through the campaign. "I don't agree with minimum wage; I'm in the business of not providing jobs, I'm in the business of making money; We don't need the Department of Education; We need 1,000 laser systems put in the sky and we need it right now," he says in little sound pops from various speeches.

The announcer hits home the point, "John Rases's ideas are crazy." Finally, the ad goes back to a Raese sound bite: "Why am I running, do I need this?"


Sink Cheats

Number four takes us to Florida -- where the race for governor is neck and neck. In close races, any gaffe by a candidate can make a splash. In a recent debate, Democrat Alex Sink broke the debate rules when she was shown a BlackBerry by an aide during a break. This ad attacks her for that.

The ad, run by Republican Rick Scott, uses Sink's own words against her. "If someone lies or cheats, I hold them accountable," she says in a clip. That clip starts and ends the piece as the middle is filled with news reports of the incident saying Sink cheated or lied. Sink fired a staffer over the incident, but it's one case where a late gaffe ends up in a quick and powerful TV ad.


Russ Feingold Fights Back

Number five takes us to the hotly contested Wisconsin Senate race. Incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold is attacking his GOP opponent Ron Johnson and mocks the Johnson ad "Whiteboard," where the Republican used a whiteboard and wrote that while there are 57 lawyers in the Senate, there are no accountants like him.

Feingold's ad shows an empty whiteboard as the announcer reads quotes of Johnson refusing to talk about his job creation strategy. "The fact is Mr. Johnson has no plans... When times are tough, who do you trust to stand up for us."


With election day only a few days away, our honorable mention goes to Funny or Die's "go vote" video -- featuring celebrities of all sorts imploring young people to get out and vote.


Last week's winner was... drum roll please... Republican House candidate Rob Cornilles from Oregon who hit his opponent over tax cuts.

Vote for this week's winner below!



Robert Hendin and Jill Jackson are CBS News Senior Political Producers. You can read more of Jill's posts in Hotsheet here or follow her on Twitter. More of Robert's posts in Hotsheet are here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

  • Robert Hendin On Twitter»

    Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.

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