By our count, this is the third Republican ad with racist overtones in Tennessee. The Republican National Committee paid for the first one, the "bimbo ad" that has been widely denounced for race-baiting. The Los Angeles Times reported on October 24:
A new Republican Party television ad featuring a scantily clad white woman winking and inviting a black candidate to "call me" is drawing charges of race-baiting, with critics saying it contradicts a landmark GOP statement last year that the party was wrong in past decades to use racial appeals to win support from white voters.
Critics said the ad, which is funded by the Republican National Committee and has aired since Friday, plays on fears of interracial relationships to scare some white voters in rural Tennessee to oppose Democratic Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr.
The second, in our opinion, is a web site funded by the National Republican Senate Committee called "Fancy Ford." The site reveals the shocking news that Ford spent $3,100 in 60 visits to the U.S. House Members' Dining Room in 2005, or about $50 per visit. Would the NRSC have thought anything was amiss if a white-skinned House member dined well? We doubt it.
The third was reported yesterday by TPM's Election Central. A new radio ad endorsed by Bob Corker lays out the differences between himself and Ford. (Ford studied UPenn while poor Bob stayed home to study in Tennessee, etc. We kind of doubt Bob was Ivy League material, but that's beside the point.) Whenever Ford's name occurs in the ad, jungle drums can be heard in the background. Whenever Corker's name occurs, a sort of bland, angelic music is played. The TPM article about the ad is very interesting, and recommended reading. Listen to the ad here (MP3).