Last weekend, John Ratcliffe kicked off his final campaign push by running -- and successfully completing! -- a 5K fun run in Rockwall. It was a strategic move, a chance to mingle with potential Republican primary voters while simultaneously reminding everyone that he, unlike incumbent U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, isn't 90 goddamned years old.
It was a subtle dig, but it was definitely a dig, a reminder that no matter how many times Hall claims to run two miles every day, no one can seriously believe him absent video evidence prominently featuring a dated newspaper.
Same with this campaign ad that Ratliffe released a couple of days earlier:
"John Ratcliffe has the energy, the passion, the fight to stand up to Obama's liberal agenda every day," a voiceover says, talking of a new generation facing new challenges as a new day dawns.
Now that Ratcliffe has managed to force Hall in a runoff, Ratcliffe will have to find new ways to subtly imply that Hall is too old to continue serving his country. Challenging Hall to five debates in 30 days, as Ratcliffe did today, is a good start, and has the added bonus of potentially killing the dude.
But he'll need more.
"John Ratcliffe knows how to keep spending under control," the voiceover on his next ad could start, "and know how to keep his bladder under control too."
"John Ratcliffe knows where his remote control is. Does Ralph Hall?"
"John Ratcliffe: He won't be dead soon."
Real sly messaging like that, you know?
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
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