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August 13, 2008

Is DSCC going after Dole's age?

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is up with a new ad attacking Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) over her effectiveness in the Senate and close ties to President Bush.

But Dole’s campaign is arguing it’s a veiled attack on the senator’s age.

The ad features two men sitting in rocking chairs, discussing Dole’s lack of clout in Congress.

“I’m telling you, Liddy Dole is 93,” said one man. “She ranks 93rd in effectiveness. ... After 40 years in Washington, Dole is 93rd in effectiveness, right near the bottom!”

As they discuss how she’s voted with President Bush 92 percent of the time, the other elderly man says: “She’s just not a go-getter like you and me.”

Dole’s campaign accused the DSCC of “crossing the line” with the ad.

“For the record, they exaggerated Senator Dole’s age by more than 20 years,” said Dole campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley. “Also, the senator typically hits the treadmill before embarking upon an average 16-hour workday — and she doesn’t even own a rocking chair like the ones used by the men appearing in the ad.”

Dole, who just turned 72 last month, also chimed in: "I think if folks are going to fib about a lady's age, they really need to make her younger.”

DSCC spokesman Matt Miller argued that the ad wasn’t about her age, but about her accomplishments in Washington.

“It’s not that Dole is too old, it’s that after 40 years in Washington, she’s too ineffective,” said Miller.

UPDATE: An eagle-eyed GOP operative points out that the Dole ad is reminiscent of this 2004 “Codgers” ad on behalf of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.