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Tom Barrett tries to win with jokes in 'Madison on a Diet' ad
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In his ad "Madison on a Diet," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett tries to take a humorous approach to government spending in Wisconsin. "We all know that when it comes to spending, the politicians in Madison aren't counting their calories," he says, sitting in a diner. He shows a cartoon image of a tape measure encircling the Capitol dome and sucking it in -- an illustration of his plan to "put Madison and state government on a diet."

None of this is very funny, and Barrett's delivery falls flat. In the unfortunate coda, the diner's waitress asks him if wants a slice of pie. "Sounds great," he says, with no comic conviction whatsoever, "but I'm cuttin' back!"

If we need a bold, thoughtful politician to lead Wisconsin, Barrett might be our man. If we need a comedian to lead Wisconsin, we'd best look elsewhere.

Isthmus TV critic Dean Robbins will assess candidate commercials throughout the 2010 fall elections. Read more reviews of political campaign spots.

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