Was Fiorina's sheep ad beneficial or just bizarre?

February 5, 2010 7:17:01 PM PST
The bizarre political ad Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina recently released is getting a lot of reaction, especially from the far right, who she has been trying so hard to court. The Internet ad trashes Republican opponent Tom Campbell as a closet big spender.

Fiorina is trailing Campbell for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race, but the ad has gotten almost 500,000 hits on YouTube. The ad seeks to bring down Campbell's numbers while connecting Fiorina to the party's conservative base.

Fiorina says go ahead and laugh at the ad, it's supposed to be funny.

"But I also know that almost half a million people have watched that ad," Fiorina said.

At a meeting with military veterans in Oakland Friday, Fiorina said the ad draws a clear distinction between herself and her primary rival.

"This one really suggests she's tacking very heavily to the right in order to appeal to the base," ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain said.

Cain says the purity message -- the images of sheep, the portrayal of Campbell as a wolf in sheep's clothing, sends a clear message.

"You've got to be pure, you're not one of the sheep you're not one of the crowd," he said.

Pure in this case means fiscally pure -- no tax increases, which has been a primary issue for the Tea Party movement. Their first national convention began Friday in Nashville.

"She does want get conservatives on her side and I would imagine the Tea Party conservatives, since we are so large in number, but frankly this ad didn't do for me whatsoever," Pleasanton Tea Party chapter founder Bridget Melson said.

"It's clearly an attack ad against Campbell, and that's fine, but you need to tell me what you're going to do for me," Sacramento Tea Party member Mark Williams said.

"People can interpret that ad however they'd like; my view is it's a funny ad that broke through and it portrayed in a memorable way a set of facts that are important to know," Fiorina said.

If she wins the primary, Fiorina will be facing Sen. Barbara Boxer, who Friday shared her take on the sheep ads.

"My opponents are fighting over demon sheep and I am fighting for jobs in California," she said.

Boxer and Campbell and Fiorina's other Republican opponent, Assm. Chuck DeVore are all saying pretty much the same thing, that they are focusing on the important issues. But because of the ad, Fiorina's campaign had a crowd of reporters at her event in Oakland Friday afternoon and a lot more attention than she had been getting.