Steve Novick, the Portland progressive activist who's fighting Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, has beaten his rival to the punch by launching the first TV ad of the campaign - and it's a real grabber.
It starts out with three guys in suits standing in a row. First guy says: "I'm Steve Novick and I'm running for U.S. Senate. I graduated Harvard Law at age 21."
Second talking head says: "I'm Steve Novick. I sued big polluters and recovered millions for taxpayers, and I'll fight for real change on health care and education."
Third one says: "I'm Steve Novick. And I'll stand up for everybody - not just the richest 1%."
Then the camera pans to Novick himself - actually to the top of his head, which barely comes up to chest level on the other guys.
"Actually I'm the real Steve Novick," he says. "And I approved this message because everything these guys said about me is true. I don't look like the typical politician, and I won't act like one either. I will fight for the little guy."
This is what's known as making a virtue of necessity: Little guys don't come much littler than Novick, who stands only 4-foot-9 and has a hook for a left hand as the result of congenital defects.
The scrappy Novick is trying to raise enough cash to air the ad on David Letterman and Oprah as well as during the Jan. 21 televised presidential debate. Meanwhile you can see it on Novick's website or on YouTube.