Republicans are all a-twitter over Tim Kaine’s latest radio ad, , with the Washington Times reporting that Jerry Kilgore is upset that Tim Kaine is making fun of his southern accent, and Reps. Goodlatte, Goode, and Cantor hopping on the same bandwagon. I figured that the ad had to be pretty damned harsh, but didn’t get to hear it until just a few minutes ago.
Tim Kaine doesn’t have one blessed word to say about accents. Not even an implication. Nothing. He’s just riding Kilgore for not speaking in his own ads — Kilgore insists on using a spokesperson in all his ads. Now, if federal campaign law is any guide to how people feel on the matter, it’s clear Americans believe that candidates should speak for themselves — that’s why all those ads in the runup to last November’s election featured Bush or Kerry looking into the camera and saying “I’m so-and-so, and I approved this message.” As a culture, we believe that candidates should appear in their own advertisements. Kilgore is clearly way out of the mainstream on this matter.
How this translates into “the big mean Kaine is beating up on Kilgore for his accent,” I can’t understand. Kaine hasn’t said a word about Kilgore’s accent. Much can be gleaned from Republicans’ protestations against a thing that hasn’t actually happened — it’s an interesting little Rorschach test. What next — will they be condemning Kaine for saying that Kilgore is gay?