Maryland Senate Candidate Portrays Self as Washington Outsider in TV Ad

Michael Steele began running the first television advertisement for his senatorial campaign Tuesday, a 30-second spot that promotes the lieutenant governor as a Washington outsider who would be "a different kind of senator."

Steele — dressed in dark suit, blue shirt and striped tie — talks directly to the camera, conveying a message to voters that he is one of them, not part of the Washington crowd.

The advertisement opens with Steele saying: "I know what you're thinking. I know what you're feeling. Washington has no clue what's going on in your life."

People in Washington are blaming each other, working the angles "while you're just trying to make today better than yesterday," Steele says.

He promises voters that, "Instead of the spin, I'll talk straight about what's wrong in both parties."

The advertisement is visually simple, mostly close ups of Steele talking to the camera with one shot of him sitting on a stool. The ad closes with a graphic saying, "Ready for Change?" followed by a shot of Steele, arms folded, standing next to a Michael Steele for Maryland sign as the announcer says "Get ready for Steele.".

Melissa Sellers, spokeswoman for the campaign, said the advertisement will run for two weeks in the Baltimore, Hagerstown, Salisbury and Washington, D.C. markets.

The advertisement plays to major themes of Steele's campaign — that he is an outsider, not part of the Washington crowd, nonpartisan and one of the people.

For example, the ad does not mention that Steele is a Republican. It attempts to position Steele as above the political fray by having him say that he will talk straight about what's wrong with both parties.

"This ad highlights the very core of Michael Steele's campaign; if you want a different kind of government, you need a different kind of senator," said Michael Leavitt, Steele's campaign manager.