Osama bin Lawyer a.k.a. Deval Patrick, Democratic candidate for Massachusetts governor
Okie Dokie, you want Massachusetts governor race news ...
Around Tuesday, Kerry Healey [the Republican] started broadcasting an ad against Deval Patrick [the Dem, an African-American] which accused Patrick of having been the defense lawyer for a convicted murderer of a policeman, getting the condemned cop-killer a reprieve from the death sentence, and finally making him eligible for parole. Then there's a throwaway line
While lawyers have the right to defend cop killers,
and then the tag line:
do we really want one as our governor?
The day it began to run, political observer guests on NECN (New England Cable News) were quite comfortable calling it an Attack Ad, others called it an act of campaign desperation, and someone said it was a classic "Willie Horton" kind of ad.
So much for the media experts. What I can't tell you is how effective the ad will really be. It's so blatant and harsh, that either it will scare the bejeebers out of the voters and they'll rush to Kerry Healey to save them from the Boogeyman and his Evil Criminal Defense Lawyer ... or, as sometimes happens, voters will recoil at the meanspiritedness and viciousness of the ad and be uncomfortable with Healy -- the Nastiness Thing.
She just may be ten years behind the times. If the ad's all about how despicable it is for a lawyer to defend a criminal ... well ... by this moment, an awful lot of Massachusetts voters have some husband or daughter or son or cousin who was facing Deep Shit until the family second-mortgaged the house and got a competent criminal defense lawyer. Who reduced the depth of the Shit from armpits to ankles. The last decade may have shifted the public perception from
"The Tough DA Saves Us All From Evil Criminals!"
"A good lawyer kept my nephew out of prison."
The Nastiness Thing may, unfairly, work worse against a woman candidate. They're still under old-fashioned expectations always to appear Warm, Fuzzy, Smiling and Nurturing. Nastiness or Meanspiritedness sit more comfortably on a male candidate's face and demeanor; a man's supposed to be able to look Mean and Tough on occasion.
But this is a Make-Or-Break TV ad for Healey. This ad alone -- and she's putting big $$$ into heavy airplay -- will be what's on voters' minds when they go to vote.