What the Senate needs is an accountant. And a manufacturer. And if they're one and the same person, even better.
Oh, and it needs one fewer lawyer.
That's the message contained in the new ad from Ron Johnson, the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat from Wisconsin who holds a significant lead in recent polling over Sen. Russ Feingold who, you guess it, just happens to be a lawyer.
The anti-lawyer ad features Johnson at a whiteboard ticking off how many lawyers there are in the Senate -- 57, just like Heinz's varieties.
He goes on to say there are zero accountants and zero manufacturers. Johnson is both, making him a twofer.
It tells you a lot about the nation's fiscal situation that "I'm an accountant" has become a viable campaign rallying cry.
Accountants, of course, haven't necessarily had the greatest reputation ever since the Enron scandal during which that infamous and defunct company's financial hijinks were abetted by the accountants at the equally defunct Arthur Andersen.
Which reminds me of the old joke about accountants: Asked "What's two plus two?" an accountant responds to his client: "What do you want it to be?"
Still, some people like the ad. Chris Cilizza over at the Washington Post's The Fix blog thinks it's an attention grabber.
Probably so. It'sreminiscent of the effective and pervasive UPS whiteboard ads in which the actor who looks like a model for romance novel covers draws animated doodles of airplanes and more that fly off the board.
Of course, it's not like Congress isn't overrun by accountants. They actually work for the government at the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office.
There are plenty of reasons why the nation finds itself in its current fiscal straits. But it's not for a lack of accountants on Capitol Hill. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]