POLITICAL AD REVIEW;PAT FORGOES FORBES SLAM

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Advertiser: Buchanan for President

Agency: Townsend Group, Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

While most of the Republican pack was out gunning for Steve Forbes and otherwise spewing cynical half-truths in ever uglier internecine fighting, who but Patrick Buchanan was straightforwardly iterating his platform with clarity and directness and malice toward none?

Well, skip that last part, because malice toward immigrants, foreigners and those reluctant to be soldiers for the Christian nation has always been the man's subtext. But he is undeniably guided by unequivocal principles, and it is a rare pleasure to see a candidate merely list them, and rise or fall on their merits.

"The future of America belongs to our children," he says from his living room, surrounded by 30 or 40 of his closest relatives. "We owe them the right to life; a tax code that rewards work, marriage and family; a fair trade policy that keeps American jobs on American soil; safe streets, secure borders, schools that work; a culture that promotes faith, family and freedom. That's the kind of America I want, for your family and mine."

The accompanying images (in a cheesy, cable-access-quality production) are of families, industry, urban violence, etc.

What they are not, however, is more important. They are not pictures of other Republican candidates, being flayed by one of their own.

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