Never before has the growth of the federal government been made to look so vividly unappetizing.
A new television ad by New Hampshire Senate candidate Jim Bender, set to begin running this holiday weekend, features a gluttonous, maniacal-looking Uncle Sam gobbling up slices of American society.
“Mmm, yum,” says the wide-eyed American icon as he downs pieces of cake that look like a bank, a diploma and an ambulance, before unleashing a burp.
“The federal government is devouring everything, taking over anything in its sights,” Bender narrates over the off-putting visuals. “We’ve seen it feast on businesses, kids college loan programs and our personal health choices.”
The candidate then appears on screen and vows to put the government on “a strict diet.”
It may be humorous and a bit bizarre, but the candidate says it’s meant to drive home a serious message.
“This is not the Uncle Sam we used to know. He’s lost control of himself and is enormously bigger than previous vintage Uncle Sams and he can’t take care of business. We think it makes the point so beautifully about how to trim the fat in Washington,” Bender told POLITICO. “I think what’s really offensive is the out of control spending and regulation.”
In the five-way GOP primary for retiring Sen. Judd Gregg's seat, it’s also an attempt by Bender, an often overlooked candidate, to crack through the campaign clutter and get noticed.
“We know as independent Granite Staters, we don’t want the government running everything,” Bender says in the ad, before Uncle Sam returns to the screen, icing pasted all over his face.
“Yum, Chevy,” Uncle Sam says, clearly referring to the federal rescue of the auto industry.
The 30-second spot, produced by Boston Productions, will run for two weeks, beginning on the morning of July 4 during WMUR’s “Up Close” program. It’s the first in a series of Uncle Sam ads that the Bender campaign will roll out throughout the summer.
“We chose such an unconventional ad because, in all honesty, this is a crowded field and the humorous nature of the ad will grab the attention of the voters,” said Bender campaign aide Christine Baratta.
Added Bender: “I think it’s got a good chance of going viral.”
Bender, the president of a network server company, announced his campaign will have $1.3 million on hand to spend in the remaining 10 weeks before the Sept. 14 primary.
At the end of March, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte had just under $1.3 million on hand, investor Bill Binnie had about $1.8 million and former gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne reported $227,000.