Now for some people this may be of little consequence. For some, the honest answer may be a simple, "who cares?". For others, I suspect this question speaks to part of their current frustration. Those who want to see intellect valued over passion in our leaders surely find the current state of dramatic commercials that slams one's opponents in order to gain the electoral upper hand to be a sad commentary on our continued national move away from rationality, education and respect toward hubris, overstated self-confidence and hate. (That is not to say they devalue passion. Clearly, passion is important, but when it is valued over clear thinking our emotions will lead us into very murky and dangerous waters).
For Christians it presents a deeper issue. If you are running for office and are Christian, how do balance a political climate that seems to clearly indicate the need to state the negatives of your opponent in a dramatic, hurtful and attacking way if you wish to be successful with the biblical mandate to love your enemy and to not bare false witness? I am fully aware that the argument will, can and has been made that what they are accusing their opponents of are not false statements, but a simple browsing of FactCheck.org quickly shows that in an effort to be as attacking as possible, the ads are (at best) overstating the truth to the point that they are no longer factual - they are baring false witness.
I am left with one of two conclusions. Either we simply don't know if it is possible because the right person with the right message hasn't shown up yet or that, with the current state of politics in the US, it is not possible for a Christian who strives to practice their beliefs in all that they do to be elected to a national position.
I think Stephen Colbert's counter rally to Stewart's rally, the "March to Keep Fear Alive", holds the key to our current predicament. Unlike so much of the current hubris of our great nation would have us believe, fear is not best overcome with force, power and might. Fear is best overcome with knowledge. Years ago, Colbert coined the phrase "truthiness": "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true." Through outlets like Fox News, we have let truthiness pervade our national dialogue, sacrificing the actual truth on the alter of being on the winning side; we've let winning become more important that the truth...actually, we've let winning become a substitute for the truth.
For Christians, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. That does not change simply because you are running for office. While I suspect Jesus would have never ran for office, I am certain that if he had, he would not have stooped to attack ads. For Jesus, the simple truth always sufficed.