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Michigan To The Gop: Drop Dead

Via Eric Zimmermann at The Hill come the first political advertisements of the 2010 election campaign. Only they are not actually political ads. They are car ads.

They are for Les Stanford Chevrolet Cadillac, a dealer in Dearborn, Michigan. The ads begin with quotes from Republican Senator Richard Shelby, denouncing the American auto companies. "We're wasting our time to trying to keep them alive," Shelby says in one.

Then the ads to go to an "interview" with the dealership's proprietors, who take turns sounding off about Shelby and other Southern Senators. "They say our autoworkers are overpaid and under-skilled?" Paul Sanford says at one poitn. "They ought to look in the mirror."

In one of the spots, President Obama makes a cameo. The ad features a clip, from his press conference about the Detroit bailout, in which he touts two GM models that recently won awards for quality.

Here's one of the spots:

(To see the others, go here.) 

The purpose of the ads, of course, is to sell cars. And since Michigan autoworkers happen to buy a lot of the cars that the Big Three build, this might accurately be described as a "pander."

Still, it's pretty telling sign about the political mood in Michigan--and, presumably, other midwestern states with large populations of unionized autoworkers--that the dealers think they can sell cars by bashing Shelby and Southern Republicans.

--Jonathan Cohn