Facing an uphill reelection climb in a district recently redrawn to favor the party of your opponent?
Maybe puppies can help.
A recent ad the reelection campaign for U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Bellair Bluffs, features Huck, one of two Doberman puppies the Congressman and his wife have added to the family.
Why, aside from the obvious fact that puppies are the best?
It goes back to the Harry S. Truman quote, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog," also the title of the ad.
It's his way of using his outsider-despite-being-an-insider status to his advantage, given that the National Republican Congressional Committee, the entity charged with helping Republicans get elected to Congress, apparently considers him a persona non grata. When he announced he was dropping out of the U.S. Senate race to instead run for reelection, speculation quickly spread over whether there he would be getting support from the committee after he called them out on national television for exorbitant fundraising demands on lawmakers at the expense of...lawmaking.
"Members of Congress spend too much time raising money," he tells Huck in the ad as he flips through television news clips featuring instances where he went against his party on veterans' issues as well as the "no-fly, no-buy" proposal he supports, but his GOP colleagues don't.
Jolly is in a tough reelection race against former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat who's favored (not to mention popular and likable) since the Congressional district in which the two are running was redrawn last year and now leans Democratic.
The race got negative quickly — no surprise there — and each candidate is trying to saddle the other with Donald Trump baggage, something a majority of the district's voters would likely find repugnant.
But the puppies (his campaign said the Jollys have another one, also a Doberman, named Junebug) are obvious respite from all the mudslinging.
It would be nice if, instead of the typical B.S. war we see in tight races like this one, the contest would turn into a battle royale of adorableness. Perhaps Crist would release an ad over the weekend featuring a basket of kittens. Then Jolly retorts with a bunch of lemurs eating grapes. Crist fires back with a slow loris. It goes on and on until one candidate delivers the final cuteness blow: baby sloths.
It wasn't the first time this week Jolly made a point with help from fauna.
On Wednesday, he brought a prop to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives: a receptacle containing 100 or so mosquitos belonging to the species capable of carrying the Zika virus.
He's one of many members of Congress from Florida railing against the much-maligned branch of government for its failure to act on Zika, a mosquito-borne virus known to cause microcephaly in babies in the womb, and may even affect the brains of fully grown humans.
"I rise with about 100 mosquitoes straight from Florida...mosquitoes capable of carrying the Zika virus," Jolly said Wednesday. "This is the reason for the urgency, this is the reason for the fear."
Democrats in the Senate are blocking $1.1 billion in funding that would help efforts fight the spread of the virus, such as development of a vaccine, not because they hate babies, but because Republicans keep putting totally unrelated crap into the bill, namely a provision defunding Planned Parenthood which, contrary to popular belief, also does not hate babies and could actually be of some help in combating Zika, given that it offers prenatal care as well as methods of defending oneself against sexually-transmitted infections, including Zika.
Jolly called the politicization of the issue "garbage" and urged action.
So far, no dice.
No biggie; we don't really want kids anyway (stretchmarks, dude), and neural stem cell degeneration doesn't sound much worse than a hangover.