W.Va. Dem turns off lights on White House

West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant literally shuts the lights off on the White House in her newest ad.

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The gesture — she flips a switch in West Virginia, and the ad cuts to an image of lights going out at the White House — is meant to show her distance from the president on coal, which makes up a sizable portion of her state’s economy.

“Where do they think their electricity comes from? You and I know it's our hardworking West Virginia coal miners that power America,” she says in the ad.

Tennant boasts in the ad that she’s worked alongside Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to protect coal jobs and pledges to “stand up to leaders of both parties who threaten our way of life.”

“I’ll make sure President Obama gets the message,” she adds, before pulling the lever in front of a power station.

The ad is running on a $120,000 buy, which the campaign says will reach two-thirds of the state.

Tennant is facing a tough battle for the seat, left open with Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) retirement. Republicans nabbed a top recruit in Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, and the state, where Obama has one of his worst approval ratings, is increasingly leaning toward the GOP.

Crucial to Tennant’s hopes is her ability to distance herself from Obama, and in particular his energy policies. She’s made declarations similar to the one in her ad throughout her campaign.

But Capito’s campaign has worked to tie the two together at every turn, pointing to the fact that Tennant stumped for President Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign as evidence she’s fully behind him.

“Before running for Senate, Tennant never once challenged Obama, and there’s no question the only message West Virginians can count on Natalie Tennant getting to Obama in the Senate is one of strong support for his liberal, anti-coal agenda,” Capito spokeswoman Amy Graham said.