by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

‘Thank you for calling ‘Political Ads ‘R’ Us,’ your one-stop shopping service for political campaigns. Press 1 to hear our menu of ads.”


“If running for Congress, press 1.”


“If you are the challenger, press 1.”


“To hear a sample ad, press 1.”


“CHALLENGER AD: For years (insert name of incumbent) has been sleeping on the job! He voted to raise taxes! He voted to help big business! He voted to increase government spending! But when it was time to vote for (insert sentimental cause) he was nowhere to be found! In fact (incumbent) missed
(insert ridiculous number) votes in Congress! Hey, (incumbent’s name)! What are you doing — smoking cigars with the fat cats? It’s time for someone who really believes in family, the working man and cutting taxes. Vote for (insert your name)!”

“To order this ad, press 1. To hear an incumbent ad, press 2.”

Beep, beep.

“INCUMBENT AD: For years (your name) has worked hard for you and your family. He knows Washington. He voted for (sentimental cause). But now, some nobody named (challenger’s name) is spreading vicious lies about (your name). Who are you going to trust? A jerk with no experience, or a proven leader whom
(important politician’s name) recently called ‘one of our best legislators.’

“On election day, vote for (your name). It’s time to stop all the lies!”

“To order, press 1.”

“For more ads, press 2.”

Beep, beep.

A place in Washington

“If you are running for Senate, press 1.”


“To hear a challenger ad, press 1.”


“Say, Jim. Did you hear the news about (incumbent name)?”

“No, what?”

“He voted to wipe out (sentimental cause)!”


“Yeah. Can you believe that guy? I thought he said he was for the people. Obviously, he’s just an insensitive fat cat like the rest of those jerks. I wish we had a better choice.”

“My wife’s voting for (your name).”

“Really? Who’s (your name)?”

“He’s one of us, a regular guy who isn’t owned by the fat cats.”

“Wow. Sounds like I’ll be voting for (your name) come Nov. 3.”

“Yeah. It’s time for a change.”

“To order, press 1. To hear an incumbent Senate ad, press 2.”

Beep, beep.

“Hey, Joe. Did you hear the lies (challenger) is spreading about (your name)?”

“No, what?”

“He’s saying (your name) voted to raise taxes, and voted against (cause you actually voted for). How can he get away with those vicious lies?”

“Yeah. I always liked (your name).”

“You should. For (impressive number) years, he’s worked hard for us. We know him. We trust him. How dare this little weenie (challenger) pick on our guy?”

“Yeah. What a weenie (challenger) is.”

“I’m sticking with (your name)!”

“Me, too. (Challenger) can go (bleep).”

“To order this ad, press 1. For more ads, press 2.”

Beep, beep.

A place in Lansing

“If running for governor, press 1.”


“If you are way behind in the polls and want to hear a desperation ad, press 1.”


“Hello. My name is (wife’s name). I’ve been married to (your name) for
(impressive number) years. He’s kind, sensitive and truly concerned about people. Not like that fat cat (incumbent) who’s never held a real job in his life. What is that fat cat (incumbent) afraid of? All my husband wants to do is debate him. But he runs. He runs like a little chicken.

“Well, he can run, but he can’t hide. When my husband is governor, he’ll look out for all the people, not just the fat cats. And he won’t hide from anyone. He also won’t eat everything in sight, like that fat cat (incumbent).”

“To order, press 1. To hear incumbent response ad, press 2.”

Beep, beep.

“(Your name) has been serving the people of (your state) for (impressive number) years. Loudmouths like (incumbent) come and go. Why should (your name) waste his breath on a ratty little weasel like (challenger)? Besides, did you know that (challenger) dodged the draft?”

“To order, press 1. To reach other departments in our company, press 2.”

Beep, beep.

“Welcome to ‘Used Car Ads ‘R’ Us.’ If you are a new dealer, press 1….”

To leave a message for Mitch Albom, call 1-313-223-4581.


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New book, The Little Liar, arrives November 14. Get the details »

Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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