Kristi and her grandma talk health care

Rep. Kristi Noem has released a new TV commercial. It’s scheduled to hit the airwaves Tuesday, but our readers can watch an advance look above.

In the ad, Noem tries to make some points about health care and Obamacare, but her 90-year-old grandmother, Arlys Arnold, of Watertown, beats her to the punch every time. Noem, who has shown a nice touch for light comedy in her series of ads in 2010 and this year, playfully eyes the camera a couple times before her grandmother offers her a cookie.

They’re also having tea. Is that a salute to the tea party movement? A simple beverage choice? An attack on coffee?

Some would question the figures being bandied about, including the assertion that Obamacare strips $716 billion from Medicare. That’s been debated by the media and the presidential candidates this year.

Noem has repeatedly said she supports Medicare but also wants to see it endure for future generations. “I want to save Medicare from bankruptcy, protect its promise to seniors and ensure it is still around for generations to come – and I support a plan that will do just that,” she said.

Her opponent, Matt Varilek, quickly issued a press release assailing the un-aired spot and pointing to a pair of votes Noem cast for a Rep. Paul Ryan plan that also takes $700 billion out of Medicare.

“… with this new ad, she’s now attacking her own voting record on Medicare,” it states. “She had the opportunity to vote against the very savings she’s now criticizing – not once, but twice.”

It was a quick and sharp retort as this race heats up with a month to go. But there’s no debate over the fact that Noem and her TV people know how to present warm and folksy ads with her sitcom-ready, lovably quirky clan.

Will that help her win a second term? If not, perhaps Fox would offer her a TV series: “Kristi’s Family,” maybe, or “That Darn Congress!”

Varilek will also release a new ad Tuesday. We will share that one when it shows up. No word if there is a saucy grandma in it.

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