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Election 2008

Ped-Bike Mockery Flops for 7-Term House Incumbent

3:07 PM PST on November 5, 2008

The National Republican Congressional Committee ran this ad against Democratic challenger Kathy Dahlkemper in the race for Pennsylvania's third congressional district. It hits a few Gingrichian notes on how to address the country's energy problems before the announcer tells us incredulously:

Dahlkemper's wacky solution? She said we should make personal sacrifices, such as walking places and riding bikes. Hmm... Why don't we use dog-sleds, too?

That passage heaps on the fear and loathing with scare quotes, shots of an impossibly crowded sidewalk, and a bike bell sound effect. But guess what? Seven-term incumbent Phil English is heading back to Erie, and Kathy Dahlkemper is going to Washington. The AP breaks down her victory:

Mrs. Dahlkemper's advantage was viewed as being in the more urban areasof the district -- the cities of Erie, Sharon, Meadville and Butler --where she was expected to benefit from longtime union support and Sen.Barack Obama's presence at the top of the ticket. Her challenge was tosway voters in the suburban and rural regions.

Think Dahlkemper's competition will bank on the same anti-urban message in 2010?

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