When is the last time you saw a politician tout his or her background as a lawyer in a campaign ad?
After all, a recent Gallup poll found that just 20 percent of Americans thought lawyers were honest or had high ethical standards.
But that’s exactly what Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley (D) does in his latest television spot.
Says Braley: "Equal justice under the law is what this country is built upon, is one of the things that motivated me to want to become a lawyer, and fight for people."
He adds: "You have to get to know people to be an effective voice for what they care about. I’ve spent my lifetime trying to be the voice for someone who has a problem that they can’t solve by themselves."
The reason for this focus is simple: Earlier this year, a GOP opposition research group released a video of Braley derisively referring to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) as "a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law" at a speech in front of a group of trial lawyers. It didn't go over well and probably made the U.S. Senate race more competitive than many had expected.
Braley later publicly apologized, but his profession became a key issue in the race.
Now, whether he wants to or not, Braley must run on being a lawyer.