SANTA FE – Marco Serna hopes that real, hoofed horse power is better than mechanical horsepower, as in muscle car engine size.
Serna, the Santa Fe district attorney who is running for the U.S. House seat from northern New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District, has issued his first campaign video that is a take-off on one previously released by one of his Democratic primary opponents, former CIA operative and author Valerie Plame.
Serna rides a horse in his video and mocks Plame for driving a Chevy Camaro backwards in her movie-trailer style ad.
Serna also goes on the attack against Plame on a couple of issues. In a statement Wednesday, she called his criticisms “Republican talking points” like those she faced in the past from the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney administration.
Plame’s “Undercover” video, which went viral at least in political circles, shows her driving the Camaro backwards over a New Mexico desert. It’s intercut with details of her life story, including the infamous outing of her as a secret CIA operative by people inside the Bush administration as payback for a newspaper op-ed by her husband, who questioned Bush’s weapons claims about Iraq before the U.S. invaded that country.
Near the end of Plame’s ad, the Camaro whirls around and stops in a cloud of dust. “And yes, the CIA really does teach us how to drive like this,” she says
Serna’s video starts with footage from Plame’s ad. He says, “Some people drive fancy cars and want us to believe they’re a female version of James Bond. They think they the can impress us with make-believe lies and fairy tales about events that happened over a decade ago.”
The ad refers to part of Plame’s video that says Scooter Libby, an aide to Cheney, leaked Plame’s CIA identity.
Although Libby was convicted on charges related to the outing of Plame, a Washington Post fact-checker wrote in a detailed analysis that Plame’s ad was wrong about Libby, which Plame disputes, and awarded the video “three Pinocchios.”
The Serna ad also criticizes Plame for tweeting a link to an article from an anti-Semitic website, for which she has apologized, calling her mistake “a doozy.” The Serna ad shows a quote from former Santa Fe Mayor Sam Pick saying that Plame’s apologies “ring hallow (sic).”
“It’s unfortunate that one of my Democratic opponents is using Republican talking points to attack me and my public service, but New Mexicans know a cheap political smear when they see one.” Plame said in responding to the ad. “My late husband Ambassador Joe Wilson and I endured these types of attacks from members of the Bush/Cheney Administration. However, we never expected such attacks would come from fellow Democrats.”
Serna’s video does show headlines or quotes about Plame from three conservative news organizations — The Washington Examiner, The Washington Free Beacon and The Federalist — but also cites the Washington Post and CNN.
Also running for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd District are Santa Fe attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez, state Rep. Joseph Sanchez, Sandoval County treasurer Laura Montoya, environmental attorney Kyle Tisdel of Taos, former deputy New Mexico Secretary of State John Blair and Gavin Kaiser of Santa Cruz.