Why this ad could be reflecting the wider rift in the Republican Party. Also, CHEMTRAILS!
If you follow politics long enough, you will see all kinds of political ads. But a political ad about the conspiracy theory of chemtrails (!!), that also happens to be an attack ad focused within the same political party (!!!); well that’s definitely a unique one!
So some background is needed for this.
In the upcoming 2018 Midterms, popular Republican Senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, will be running for reelection to the Senate once again. But before he can actually face his Democratic challenger, he has to beat his primary opponent; enter Kelli Ward.
To most in the GOP Establishment, Kelli Ward has been a thorn on their side for many years. Multiple times Ward has tried to challenge Republican John McCain for his senate seat, recently claiming Sen. McCain should retire, due to his cancer diagnosis, and that she should be his replacement. Ward also has a long history of making outrageous claims like the one where she insisted that Sen. McCain had “sold F-16’s to associates of Osama bin Laden on the 4th of July.” However, because of her outspoken nature against the GOP Establishment, she has become a popular figure with the Tea Party and alt/right groups, making her a legitimate threat that Sen. Flake has to take seriously.
Because of that, the above ad put out by the Senate Leadership Fund – a super PAC that has close ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of which whose mission is to keep the GOP majority in the Senate – makes a lot of sense considering Ward has been gaining more Republican endorsements in terms of popular right-wing political pundits (like Sean Hannity) and even gaining support from President Donald Trump himself. For Establishment Republicans, having someone like Ward in the Senate would be just another obstacle in passing traditional GOP legislation.
As for the ad itself, it does hit on an important nerve that has dogged Ward’s political career in the past; her perceived stance on believing that chemtrails exist. This story goes back to her time in the Arizona State Senate where she held a hearing over the concerns of “chemtrail emissions left by flying aircraft.” Of course, as we all know, the reason aircrafts leave trails behind them is due to condensation and not “secret airborne chemicals.” While Ward has repeatedly said she does not believe the chemtrail conspiracy and she only held the hearing to let her constituents that do believe vent on the issue, that conspiracy theory has followed her ever since. However, with how much Internet traction the Senate Leadership Fund ad has gotten thus far, along with the catchy name that was concocted from the ad (Chemtrail Kelli), the chemtrail conspiracy could be dogging her political ambitions once again.
Also on a larger level, this ad directly demonstrates the divide that currently exists within the Republican Party. Considering the Senate Leadership Fund is directly connected to Sen. McConnell and President Trump has openly made his disdain regarding Sen. Flake very public, the McConnell/Trump feud could be spilling over to the 2018 Midterms! This ad could just be the beginning in regards to the GOP Establishment protecting their candidates from “outsider” primary challengers, which would be highly unusual for a super PAC like the Senate Leadership Fund to do.
(Photo Credit: Senate Leadership Fund’s YouTube Channel)