Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Sooner state's senior U.S. senator, is running some very curious—and clearly contradictory—television ads in the Tulsa market.
The first one praised the senator's "stubbornness," an obvious appeal to the senator's (supposed) independence and grit. The guy's a fighter for Oklahoma "pork," the ad made clear.
Okay—Jim's our tough guy in D.C. Or is he?
The second ad, out this week, shows Inhofe's (supposed) softer side. In it, a whispering female voice describes the senator's many quiet trips to Africa, where he's portrayed as a behind-the-scenes humanitarian.
Obviously, Inhofe wants it both ways. But the effect of these conflicting messages is likely to produce more confusion than support. Indeed, Inhofe would be better off to stick with his tough guy image, one that's a lot more credible than his new (and highly calculated) embrace of humanitarianism.
Finally, a note to the ad agency handling the Inhofe account: Drop the female whisperer. It's a gimmick, and not one that's going to win friends among Oklahoma voters.