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May 24th, 2010
02:31 PM ET

Frum: Just saying 'no' won't win it for GOP

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/24/tim.burns.ad.jpg caption="Republican Tim Burns' advertising, opposing a variety of Democratic initiatives, didn't win him a special election for a House seat."]

Editor's note: David Frum writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A special assistant to President Bush in 2001-02, he is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again" and is the editor of FrumForum.

By David Frum
CNN Contributor

To understand the shape of the impending 2010 congressional elections, compare these two campaign ads from the recent special election in the 12th district of Pennsylvania. First, Republican Tim Burns:

Message: Send a protest message to Washington. Notice that the word "no" is spoken or viewed five times in 30 seconds. No cap and trade. No health care deal. No more taxes and spending.

Next, Democrat Mark Critz:

It opens: "Political TV ads always talk about what we've lost. Well I'm Mark Critz, and as Jack Murtha's director of economic development, we always looked ahead." Then followed five promises at least arguably related to job creation.

I don't want to make too much of Mark Critz's victory in Pennsylvania. It's a historically Democratic district, heavily unionized. It voted for Clinton in 1992 and 1996, Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics • Republicans
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