Singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter admits that the presidential election intruded on her life. But she found an unlikely source of inspiration amid her hours of obsessive TV watching—in a Liberty Mutual ad. Its old-fashioned carnival scene and music by the band Hem "evoked a nostalgia" for "a place where you pay attention to the sound of your heart," Carpenter writes in her debut Washington Times column.
"People who do good things tend to inspire more people to do good things," she writes, describing the ad's message—and its link to Barack Obama's. Few television ads, or even shows, affect her, she admits, but the mix of Hem's "gorgeous chamber folk rock" and the carnival scenes created "that rare example of art and commerce providing a public service message for the soul."