First Congressional District candidate Isaac Misiuk on Sunday won the endorsement of Gov. Paul LePage, but the 1:19 YouTube clip, posted to Misiuk's campaign website, came with some curious scripting. Most of the 182 words uttered by the governor -- 104 in all -- were about himself. The ad was paid for by Misiuk's campaign, but focused largely on LePage, and did not feature Misiuk or his image.
Misiuk is a second-year political science student at the University of Southern Maine and is running against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, who is seeking her fourth term.
In the ad, LePage opens with 69 words about his administrations' accomplishments before pivoting to Misiuk, a political neophyte from Gorham:
"I am proud of the work I've been able to accomplish for our state," LePage said. "Here in Maine we passed the largest tax cut in Maine's history, reduced red tape for our job creators, cracked down on welfare fraud and improved options for our students. These changes are all vital steps to move Maine forward. As Mainers we must continue to move Maine forward, but we must see change in Washington, D.C."
Then, seamlessly, it's back to the governor and his up-by-the-bootstraps childhood.
LePage's nod was the highest-profile endorsement for Misiuk, who is far behind Pingree in campaign fundraising so far this election season. With only $1,496 on hand and $13,955 raised, Misiuk's campaign is dwarfed by Pingree's $293,077 on hand, and $131,251 spent so far in the current cycle, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Misiuk's priorities in Congress, as described by the governor, echo themes that are sounded by many Republican candidates.
"I know Isaac will work to shrink the size of the federal government, cut irresponsible spending, reduce our national debt and encourage job creation for a more prosperous economy for our kids and grand kids," LePage said of his 25-year-old party cohort.
"It is time," LePage intones. "The generation of tomorrow has a voice in Washington today. I believe that Isaac Misiuk is that voice."
Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, majority share owner of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel.