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Collins: The season of the twitch

Some of you appear to be very, very worried about which party is going to win control of the Senate in November. Really, you should stop for a while. Take a break. No fretting about undecided voters until there's at least a minimal chance that the undecided voters know who's running.

Right now, we're in the season where center stage goes to whoever screws up the most. Relax and enjoy.

For instance, Scott Brown, who's pursuing the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, just had an interview with The Associated Press in which he addressed the fact that he has not actually lived in the state since he was 1 1/2 years old.

"Do I have the best credentials? Probably not, 'cause, you know, whatever," he said.

Brown went on to point out his "strong ties" to New Hampshire, which included a recent move back into his longtime vacation house in the state, and that residency from birth to 18 months, which we all know is one of the most developmentally important periods in a person's life.

You do have to love the "you know, whatever" part. This is a guy who once got elected senator from Massachusetts on the basis of his easygoing, truck-driving persona. We will now stop to contemplate whether it is possible to take that act too far.

Brown is hardly the only walking gaffe on the campaign trail. Thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, candidates all over the country have been reminded to make sure that if their feel-good videos include footage of a victorious college basketball team, said team is actually from the home state and not, um, Hated Rival Duke.

Then there's the Improbable Leap to Glory. In Iowa, there are five people running for the Republican Senate nomination, and early polls have shown that voters have no earthly idea who any of them are. Then state Sen. Joni Ernst unveiled a TV ad in which she announced: "I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm."

The actual theme of the piece was that Ernst planned to go to Washington and cut pork. But it was obviously the castration angle that got noticed. She looked so happy when she said it. The woman was positively glowing. Unlike the famous Sarah Palin interview in front of a turkey-beheading machine, Ernst's ad featured pigs that were alive, although perhaps looking a little depressed.

The ad went viral, which is, of course, every candidate's dream.


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