Maryland gubernatorial candidate Rich Madaleno shook up the Democratic primary race and threw caution to the wind with an ad that ended with the kissing of his longtime husband Mark Hodge. He preceded the kiss with the comment, “the number one way I piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans” and concludes the ad with the taunt, “Take that, Trump.”
The 30-second campaign ad, "Take That, Trump", will run on Fox and Friends in the D.C. market leading up to the June 26 primary is most likely an attempt, among other things, to goad President Trump to respond. #hocopolitics
The ad does not mention any of his half dozen primary opponents nor does it mention incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan. Instead, he directly takes on Trump in the ad touting his voting record, accomplishments and positions on issues that are anathema to Trump and his Republican cohorts.
Madaleno, Maryland’s first openly gay state Senator and a resident of Silver Spring, Md., was one of the leading forces in winning passage of marriage equality in the Maryland General Assembly.
To me, this ad is pure political genius and the type of in-your-face boldness so frustratingly absent from many Democratic office seekers. While Trump’s approval may be inching up nationally, there is no evidence that the president’s popularity is anything but low in Maryland and especially in the D.C. area. Thus, attacking Trump here should not result in much backlash.
Even those who may be put off by the same-sex kiss, there is no reason to believe that such individuals would have voted for Madaleno anyway. Clearly, there was more upside than downside to this endeavor and if nothing else, excited the progressive Democrats in the state in which many had, up to this point, been undecided in the race.
Moreover, the ad has received national and international intention, which will likely generate significant donations from supporters from places far and wide. From news organizations, such as CNN, Time, USA Today, and the Washington Post to scores of local print and online outlets, the exposure is golden.
The timing of the ad leading up to early voting in the state form June 14-21 culminating in the primary election on June 26 presents a great opportunity.
“June is LGBT Pride Month and I couldn’t think of a better time to release this ad,” Madaleno, who will turn 53 on June 16, said in a statement. “Love truly does trump hate.”
The ad is seen below.