Having the Last Laugh

Political ads, once sobersided, this year offer a gag a minute

Oklahoma Democrat Jim Jones, campaigning for the Senate against Incumbent Republican Don Nickles, has discovered that less can be more. In his TV spots, the balding Jones tells voters, "I'll have more time each day to work on Oklahoma's problems because I won't need one of these." Grinning broadly, he raises a whirring -- and superfluous -- hair dryer to his head. The implication? That Nickles, thickly thatched and Hollywood handsome, is just another pretty face.

Government may be serious business, but the trend in political advertising this year is to make your point with a punch line. Candidates are taking...

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