Anybody out there old enough to remember how Mitch McConnell first got elected to the Senate? No? So I’ll tell you.
It was 1984. McConnell was the Jefferson County Judge-Executive in said Jefferson County, home to Louisville. Kentucky was still a mostly Democratic state then—four of its seven House members were Democrats, and both senators. McConnell was running against Walter “Dee” Huddleston, a two-term incumbent mostly known for his attention to home-state issues.
McConnell ended up winning the election by around 5,200 votes, and he did it on the strength of one theme, and really one ad. It seems Huddleston had missed a number of votes and gone off thither and yon giving paid speeches, so McConnell—with the help of a certain Roger Ailes—ran an instantly famous ad in which a man with a pack of bloodhounds goes off around the country and world in search of Huddleston (“my job was to find Dee Huddleston and get him back to work”). The spot generated massive free media, as the political class had not yet learned to say in 1984, and has gone down in political ad history. One of his ads in his 2014 race even referenced the famous spot.