Mr. Montgomery brings to our attention the first general election TV ad of South Dakota's Congressional race. Matt Varilek hits the TV airwaves before Rep. Kristi Noem, who has stuck to making stuff up about Varilek with cheaper radio spots. Here's Matt's vid:

Narrator: Matt Varilek: A new choice for Congress with South Dakota roots and middle-class values.

Matt: I worked my way through high school and college washing dishes, flipping burgers, and picking rocks. I like to throw horseshoes. Badly. I worked for Senator Tim Johnson on economic development, helping businesses and promoting opportunity. The special interests have their representatives. I'll work hard for you. I'm Matt Varilek, and I approved this message.

Mr. Montgomery characterizes Varilek's ad as "a positive 30-second biographical spot." But oh, my friends, read closely: he's zinging No-Show Noem right and left. Consider the words:

  1. and: The narrator lays the trap in that opener: both candidates in this race have South Dakota roots, but Matt has the right roots and middle-class values. His family didn't get by on more than three million dollars in handouts from Uncle Sam.
  2. work: Varilek uses that verb three times. He worked his way through high school and college... and finished college in less than the 20 years it took Kristi do do the same. He worked for Senator Johnson... quite possibly creating more economic opportunities than Rep. Noem has by skipping committee hearings and voting the way her obstructionist, do-nothing GOP leadership tells her to.
  3. horseshoes: This one's the pièce de résistance. Varilek subtly counterprograms Noem's ongoing rodeo princess act with word and image. He pitches a horseshoe badly and admits it. Then he talks about real accomplishments in Congress. The message: horseshoes and horsey rides aren't vital parts of the job we send our Representative to Washington to do for South Dakota.

Ah, metaphor. Contrary to the opinion of the GOP spin machine that can't find anything positive and true to say about their gal's record, Team Varilek totally gets it. But with Noem already throwing punches on things Varilek has never voted for, this ad may be as gentle as Varilek can afford to be. Keep swinging, Matt!