If this is not one of the ugliest, most bitterly contentious presidential elections in the past few decades, it certainly seems like it has been at times. As it nears an end, down-ballot campaigns are beginning to heat up as politicians remind their communities that local races are just as important as the presidential election.
In Austin, Texas, Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty is running for re-election. And Daugherty has caught the attention of national media for a hilarious campaign ad featuring his wife, Charlyn.
Titled "Please Re-Elect Gerald," the video shows Daugherty at home, doing laundry, entertaining guests, washing the dishes — all while talking policy to the bemused exasperation of his wife. "Please re-elect Gerald," Charlyn says, locking eyes with the camera. "Please."
The video has become an internet sensation in the weeks since its release. On Facebook, it racked up more than 2.1 million views and hundreds of comments, many of them lauding Daugherty's campaign for its humor.
And the ad is as brilliant as it is funny. Peter W. Stevenson at The Washington Post wrote:
It's a well-calculated caricature of Daugherty's actual work on the commissioners court; the ad manages to poke fun at the dry bureaucracy of county-level politics while still portraying the candidate as competent and engaged.
Even George Takei shared it on his page, writing, "I don't know anything about Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty. But I found his campaign video to be very droll. Ah, some welcome levity during this election cycle."
So as Americans hold their breaths for the end of this contentious presidential election, Daugherty has provided Americans a well-humored respite — and a reminder that politics can rise above name-calling, mistruths, and nastiness.