The Art of Displacement

We knew the presence of former governor Mark Sanford would make the special primary in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, well, special. But this ad from media scion Teddy Turner is a truly nasty work of art:

Note the fine displacement here: there’s no explicit mention of Sanford’s extracurricular activities as governor; indeed, it’s all related to “politicians” spending “a few trillion” (not exactly a charge that can be credibly levied at Sanford, who can starve grannies with the best of them). But there’s zero question what the ad is about, complete with the not-so-subtle suggestion voters are like Sanford’s cheated-upon wife.

It doesn’t quite rank up there (or down there) with the famous “Boogie Nights Ad” that helped sink the Senate candidacy of Mike Taylor in Montana in 2002:

But Turner’s got a lot of money. Team Sanford has to be shuddering at what may come next.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.