The Family Guy

"Sir, I’ve served with family men; I knew family men; family men are friends of mine. Mr. Quayle, you are no family man." This might be Lloyd Bentsen’s response to a political mailer being sent by Dan Quayle’s son, Ben, in his quest to fill the U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. John Shadegg in Arizona.

CQ Politics recently blogged about the mailer, which shows the candidate with two little girls, although he himself has no children (see the link to the full blog for a snapshot of the mailer):

Congressional candidate Ben Quayle, son of the former vice president, is raising some eyebrows with direct mail pieces that seem to invite readers to presume he and his wife have more than just themselves and a dog to take care of.

The Arizona Capitol Times’ Bill Bertolino reports that the campaign uses shot above in two mailings. Part of the cutline reads, "Tiffany and I live in this district and we are going to raise our family here."

Writes Bertolino: "Is Quayle intentionally trying to leave voters with the impression that he’s a ‘family man’? It’s plausible.He’s been a frequent target of many of his nine opponents — all of whom are older than him and have children — for what they call his thin resume and lack of life experience."

When asked that question, Quayle’s campaign said the girls in the picture are relatives of a staff member who happened to be at a campaign event.

"I think you guys have got a lot of time on your hands," said spokesman Damon Moley. "They’re just terribly cute kids."

"We are presenting Ben as a pro-family candidate because he is a pro-family candidate," Moley said. "We are presenting him as a traditional-values candidate because he is a traditional values candidate."

So what do you think? Are the media and critics right to say the mailer is misleading, or is it just savvy politics on Quayle’s part and nothing more?

Michigan Candidate Taking Heat for Advocating Use of Local Workers, but Using Out-of-State Firm

Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Andy Dillon got some flack from CQ Politics over the fact that he’s advocating the hiring of local workers, but then using an out-of-state creative agency (Obama advisor David Axelrod’s, no less) to spread his message.

Reminds me of the Dan Burton flap during the 2010 primary, in which he was raked over the coals for using out-of-state actors in an ad.

Are these on par with each other, or is one worse? Or is it just politics as usual, and neither is worth being surprised about?

An Early Look at the 2010 Congressional Vote

Politicos tell us it’s never too early to look ahead to the next election. Washington’s CQ Politics does so for Congress, rating 100 House districts in play in some form in the 2010 mid-term elections.

CQ has eight of Indiana’s nine incumbents in the safe category. They are Visclosky, Donnelly, Carson and Ellsworth on the Dems’ side, and Souder, Buyer, Burton and Pence for the Republicans. Baron Hill (9th District) is in the Democrat Favored listing.

Key items to watch, according to CQ:

  • Democrats will likely lose a portion of their 256-178 (one current opening) advantage. The party in charge of the White House typically loses seats during the first mid-term vote (although the GOP and President Bush were an exception in 2002)
  • Swing seats will be a big focus. In 49 districts, voters favored John McCain for president but elected a Democrat to the House; conversely, 34 districsts backed President Obama but put a Republican in the House
  • Of the 100 seats rated competitive, 59 are held by Democrats. Only three are viewed as toss-ups, a slightly higher numbers as highly competitive and the majority as slightly competitive

Much can change, however, over the next 15 months.