Political Swipes Getting Way Too Subtle

Both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are out with new ads today, following up on yesterday’s debate in which the two candidates tussled like hyperactive siblings.

Rudy’s, titled ” Promise ,” is pretty straightforward, pitching his experience in New York lowering taxes, shrinking government, and otherwise saving the city from its liberal self. Romney’s, called ” Historic Choice ,” pulls back to look at the broader challenges of security, the economy, and family values. It hits all our favorite imagery: the barbed wire, the Chinese assembly line, plus Romney’s trademark sleeve roll . The narration culminates with the line, “Ordinary isn’t good enough,” at which point we see a shot of … the Statue of Liberty.

The viewer’s first thought: That can’t possibly be a swipe at Giuliani. His second thought: How can it possibly not be? Just when political attacks were starting to get explicit—i.e., fun—Romney goes back to the coy subtlety thing. Instead of referring to his wife as “sweetheart” 80 times per speech, why doesn’t he just come out and say he thinks Giuliani is a family-wrecking sleaze? Instead of slyly talking about “triangulation,” why doesn’t he just call Hillary a conniving you-know-what? All this euphemism is exhausting.