The wikipedia says this about Aikido: "Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on." [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0pXS-6ee0k]
This new ad from Alexi Giannoulias is a pretty good example of political Aikido -- framing the failure of the "family business" (the federal takeover of the family bank he used to run) as another business lost to this bad economy is pretty smart in my opinion. For whatever reason, I was thinking about this campaign over the weekend and the need to talk about the elephant in the room. I think this spot does a pretty good job of just that. I like that he's being interviewed (or appears to be talking to an interviewer) and not reading of a teleprompter. He seems sincere and believable.
It comes a little short of where I would go and really confronting the issue, but I think it's about as good as you could do given the circumstances. As Ben Smith of Politico says, "If Alexi Giannoulias pulls this one off, it'll be one for the annals of political history..."
The negative attack in the middle of the ad is interesting, pretty standard stuff, but in essence he's tying Kirk to the failure of his "family business" and businesses like it around the state. Of course, if you read the cite from the unemployment quote it's from 2008. I think it's pretty misleading because they're obviously trying to make it sound like Kirk made that statement recently when in fact he made the statement (whatever he actually said) about three months before the financial meltdown. That kind of inaccuracy always worries me because if it becomes the story around the ad, then it's much easier for the other side to throw out the entire attack, and it casts doubts about your campaign's credibility.
I'm interested to see if they can shift the story in the coming days or not, but you got to give it a try, and at the very least they've put the ball in Kirk's court to react to.