It should go without saying that if in your first TV ad as a candidate for the U.S. Senate you feel compelled to announce: "I am not a witch," you're in deep trouble.
In a simple ad likely to launch a million YouTube parodies, Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Delaware, looks straight into the camera and goes on to say:
"I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you. None of us are (sic) perfect. But none of us can be happy with what we see all around us. Politicians who think spending, trading favors and backroom deals are the way to stay in office. I'll go to Washington and do what you'd do. I'm Christine O'Donnell and I approve this message. I'm you."
Recent polls have shown O'Donnell, the Tea Party and Sarah Palin-backed candidate, trailing Democrat Chris Coons by double digits and little about this ad promises to narrow that gap.
The only explanation for the "I am not a witch" announcement at the start of the ad is that the clip from O'Donnell's appearance years ago on the comic Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect show has proved so devastating she and her people felt she had to respond.
In that earlier clip, O'Donnell said she once had a first date that, unknown to her, took place on a satanic altar. She also said: "I dabbled in witchcraft. But I didn't join a coven."
Her attempt to deal with the old clip which made her the subject of so much ridicule was to produce a TV ad guaranteed to heap fresh ridicule on her.
All of which is to say, none of this may land her a Senate seat. But she looks like a shoo-in for a reality show.