10 Freakiest Campaign Ads from Election 2010

The candidates in the 2010 election bludgeoned us for two years with advertisements ranging from the uninspired to the obnoxious. Thankfully, though, a handful of the commercials were so over the top, they became entertaining—good for a laugh, if not always good for the candidate. Below, check out AdFreak’s picks for the 2010 election cycle’s freakiest campaign ads.

  1. Christine O’Donnell

    Christine O'Donnell


    Click to view. The Delaware Senate candidate used the first spot in her general-election race against Chris Coons to make the 2010 election season’s most notorious declaration: “I’m not a witch.” Orchestrated by GOP ad wizard Fred Davis, it was a calculated move designed to directly address rumors that she’d once dabbled in witchcraft—something she allegedly admitted to on Bill Maher’s old show, Politically Incorrect. It backfired. The “Witch” spot became the subject of endless parodies, keeping the topic alive for weeks and prompting O’Donnell eventually to admit that she regretted making the ad at all. • O’Donnell trailed Coons by around 20 percent in most polls throughout the race, but had closed the gap to about half that by the eve of the election. • O’Donnell lost to Coons.

  2. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
    “Transformer” (anti-Mark Kirk)


    Click to view. This Web video was the only one to portray the opposition—in this case, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)—as a giant marauding robot. The DSCC claimed that Kirk had become a “transformer” in the Illinois Senate race, pretending he’s a moderate when his record reflects otherwise. If elected, Kirk will presumably have to pay for all that Capitol Hill marble he’s damaged. • Kirk and Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias were statistically tied in several polls during the last week before the election. • Kirk defeated Giannoulias.

  3. Dale Peterson

    Dale Peterson
    “Get Away From That!” (pro-John McMillan)


    Click to view. It was a hell of a season for campaign ads in Alabama. Gubernatorial candidate Tim James made national headlines with a spot in which he promised to abolish foreign-language driver’s-lience exams. (“This is Alabama,” he said. “We speak English. If you want to live here, learn it.”) But James was upstaged by Dale Peterson, candidate for state agriculture commissioner. His first spot, titled “We’re Better Than That!,” featured Peterson waving his gun around and inveighing against the “thugs and criminals” and “dummies” that are driving Alabama into the ground. After failing to secure the nomination, he backed former rival John McMillan with this spot, in which he vows to use his firearm to protect McMillan’s yard signs. Don’t mess with Dale. • Peterson lost in the primary, but clearly has a future in politics and/or yard-sign protection. • McMillan won the race for agriculture commissioner.

  4. Mike Weinstein

    Mike Weinstein
    “Representing District 19”


    Click to view. The first of two musical spots on our list, this one is an awesome ’80s-style music-video endorsement of Florida state Rep. Mike Weinstein. It’s performed by Mike’s son, Scott Leigh, who apparently writes educational children’s songs when he’s not penning ludicrous odes to his dad. • Probably the only reason Scott hasn’t been kicked out of the family is that Weinstein is running unopposed and has nothing to lose from Scott making an ass out of both of them.

  5. Rudy Moise

    Rudy Moise
    “Rudy Moise for Congress Music Video”


    Click to view. Rudy Moise, who ran for Congress in Florida’s 17th district, outdid even Mike Weinstein with his music video, in which his supporters auto-tune their love for the candidate. It was par for the course for the self-funded Moise, a wealthy Haitian physician whose personal passions also include funding B movies and casting himself as the lead. His productions have included Wind of Desire and Trapped: Haitian Nights, in which he supposedly writhes around in a straitjacket. • Sadly, Moise lost to Frederica Wilson in the Democratic primary.