While Randy Boyd and Diane Black attack each other — Black is also hitting Bill Lee in some of her TV ads — Beth Harwell has so far remained unscathed. That's probably a function of the House speaker's running last in polls.
But as others engage in heavy-handed muck slinging, the speaker breaks through the ad-war clutter with a new 30-second TV spot featuring a far lighter yet still critical touch that pokes fun at the trio while promoting herself.
Dubbed "Adult in the Room," the ad feature three young children dressed in adult clothes, representing Boyd, Black and Lee sitting at a table as they argue in exaggerated fashion as a lively musical score complete with a clarinet worthy of a Woody Allen comedy or perhaps a 1940s-era Looney Toon cartoon plays zanily along.
The child representing Boyd is dressed in a business suit, the girl acting as Black wears large-rimmed glasses and pearls and the boy standing in as Lee wearing a yellow construction hat and plaid shirt. All three hold President Donald Trump cut-out masks and carry on like, well, some increasing well-known Tennessee grownups as they argue, gesture, frown and wave hands.
"You have a choice for governor," the narrator says. "Behind all the fighting and posturing, Diane Black, Randy Boyd and Bill Lee only offer political promises."
The ad shifts to Harwell as she stands before a Tennessee flag and looks into the camera.
"I am the only candidate who offers proven results instead of political promises. Under my leadership as your Tennessee speaker, we've already balanced the budget and lowered your taxes, already outlawed sanctuary cities and reduced the size of our state government," Harwell says.
Tennessee's Constitution requires the annual state budget to be balanced.