By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter
As of late, with the highly contested GOP primaries just two weeks away, campaign ads have been popping up virtually everywhere across the State. Interestingly, though, in some races, the subject of the ads usually include not the opponents at hand, but another foe entirely: President Barack Hussein Obama.
This has particularly been the case in the campaigns for the seats on the Public Service Commission, the agency that oversees and regulates the utilities industry in Alabama. Although there are no Democrats qualified in any PSC race, one does appear almost uniformly in every PSC ad that has been published – President Obama.
During the 2010 election cycle, Senate Minority Leader Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, caused somewhat of a media storm when she allegedly made comments asserting that Republicans in the state were running against President Obama instead of their opponents in order to advance racially based biases. The issue of any racial motives aside, the can be no denying that some of what she said was absolutely as true of the 2010 cycle as of this one: whether short or long, funny or serious, cheaply made or extravagantly funded, political ads in Alabama nearly all have one “liberal” at their center – you guessed it.
“I just don’t trust Obama,” a man says in this advertisement, “and Chip Beeker doesn’t either.” This thirty second ad cites “Obama” or “Obamacare” five times – more than the candidate’s own name.
Kathy Peterson, who has –along with her husband – garnered national attention with some of their campaign ads in previous cycles, makes the message clear as day: “Get Obama’s EPA Off Our Backs!”
In this ad, which begins with a grainy clip of Obama announcing new EPA regulations of coal dumping in water supplies, Barbee channels Senator Rand Paul’s “Stand With Rand,” asking the viewer to stand with Barbee – stand up against Barack Hussein Obama.
“Let’s face it. We’re all tired of Obama’s liberal agenda. I’m Jonathan Barbee and I will stand up to Obama’s costly energy plan, and I will fight to keep Alabama jobs.”
Barbee also wrote a letter to President Obama earlier this month, going beyond the call of duty to attack his – opponent.
“President Obama, Alabama can’t afford your policies,” the letter reads. “That’s why I’ll fight them every day that I’m in office.”
Probably the most widely seen so far, in this ad, candidate Will Brooke literally takes aim at Obamacare, firing several different guns at a copy of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to no avail, eventually resigning to throw it in a wood chipper.
“We’re here to… see how much damage we can do to this copy of Obamacare,” Brooke says at the beginning of the ad.
State Representative Paul DeMarco has a new ad out titled “Repeal.” It’s not an Alabama’s legislator’s law he’s trying to get rid of, either. To be fair though, he at least is running on a federal level, at least a little closer to actually having Obama as a political opponent.
“You see them everywhere,” DeMarco begins the ad in on-screen narration, “victims of Obamacare.”
In the most light hearted campaign ad attacking President Obama this cycle, incumbent PSC Commissioner Jeremy Oden introduces himself to several voters, though they can’t seem to keep his name – or the PSC’s – straight.
“I’m Jeremy Oden. I’m running for PSC. I’m going to fight Obama and stop the EPA overreach.”
“Stop the EPA? Fight Obama?” The woman replies, “I’m voting for you Jimmy Odom.”
“Thank you, ma’am, but it’s Jeremy Oden.”
“Whatever Johnny. Just fight Obama!”
“I will, ma’am. I will,” Oden finishes.
It seems everyone in the ad seemingly had no problem remembering the President’s name, though.
Primary elections will be held two weeks from now, on June 3. General elections will be held this November.