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Al Franken's first 2014 campaign TV ad debuts

U.S. Sen. Al Franken is up with his first re-election ad, entitled "3.5 Million Jobs." It references the so-called "skills gap" in which higher-skilled employers can't find qualified employees. The ad features Elizabeth Abraham, owner of Blaine's Top Tool.

The ad is straightforward, betraying none of the cleverness Franken has downplayed in the Senate, and isn't humorous and personal in the style of GOP challenger Mike McFadden's intro ads. If nothing else, the ad — which ties jobs to education — signals a meat-and-potatoes campaign from Franken, who faces presidential off-year headwinds from the botched ObamaCare rollout and a tepid middle-class recovery.

The ad is also interesting for featuring an employer from Michele Bachmann's 6th district, beyond Franken's traditional Democratic base, but home to many blue-collar workers, employed or not. 

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Comments (1)

Skills gap

It's a recycling of a talking point not particularly popular on the left that the higher unemployment we are contending with is the result of a "skills gap", as opposed to a shall we say less than optimal economic policy. What someone like me would say is that the financial crisis we are slowly emerging from wasn't the result of some sort of mysterious loss of skills that afflicted the population in the fall of 2008, it was the result of disastrous economic financial and economic policies by the Bush administration that the Obama administration has been unable to sufficiently correct. But those are policy considerations, not political arguments. At least Franken is focusing on stuff that matters.