In Virginia's still-early gubernatorial contest, the two major candidates both have their shortcomings.
Republican Ken Cuccinelli is attacked for being too conservative on social issues (especially in a state Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012), while the negative caricature of Democrat Terry McAuliffe is that he's a slick and wealthy politico who has tenuous ties to the state.
And both men are addressing their flaws -- head on -- in their first TV ads.
A week after Cuccinelli released his first advertisement with a testimonial from his wife ("My husband Ken has spent his life standing up for the vulnerable and those in need..."), McAuliffe is now up with his own ad.
"I’m the youngest of four boys and when I was fourteen I saw a chance to literally pave the way to my future and I started a business paving driveways," the former DNC chairman says in the ad. "That helped me pay for college."
He continues, "My wife Dorothy and I have lived in Virginia for over 20 and here we’ve raised five children of our own. I know nothing is more important to Virginians than creating good jobs that can support a family. That will be my focus every day."
Meanwhile, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is airing his first TV ad of his 2013 re-election bid -- a $1.2 million buy -- and it has a heavy emphasis on his role after Hurricane Sandy.
"But the most important thing he did has little to do with numbers, statistics or even politics, he made us proud to say we’re from New Jersey," the ad goes.