Friday, July 15, 2011 | 6:52 p.m.
Shelley Berkley got a rough start to her weekend.
The National Republican Senatorial Campaign released a video of her late today, showing the Nevada congresswoman schmoozing donors and shopping for shoes at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York last weekend. The images play over audio of Berkley saying she goes home every weekend to visit her Nevada constituents hardest-hit by the recession.
It’s a commercial designed to portray Berkley as a hypocrite and seems packaged for voters in the northern half of the state.
The complaint about Berkley from her critics isn’t that she’s too distant; it’s that she’s too public: constantly hawking herself to the media and voters, and using her popularity to seek center stage -- something that comes easily to the congresswoman, who has a flashy-and-friendly Las Vegas flair.
But for the past few months, Berkley has been trying to press flesh in Northern Nevada, where she’s had to downplay the material side of her image and introduce herself as a candidate who cares and fights for the whole state. Video of a woman transfixed by shoes doesn’t exactly help her make that transition.
But Berkley’s campaign says the substance of the ad is the only thing that’s frivolous here.
“The people of Shelley Berkley’s district know she’s home nearly every weekend, fighting for them and standing up for the middle class,” said Jessica Mackler, Berkley’s campaign manager. “Republicans are clearly worried about two-time Dean Heller, the only member of Congress to vote twice to end Medicare as we know it and turn seniors’ health care over to private insurance companies looking to make a profit.”