Who would have thought that a Democrat would use a church and a Republican a puppy for election ad backgrounds? Well it's happened, and both the TV ads are the talk of Washington. What the GOP is calling one of the best ads this season comes from a Democrat: Tennessee's Rep. Harold Ford. "Man, it's good," a Republican admitted. In the ad, Ford walks through a church, ending up in a pew to talk about how he learned life lessons in church, even though he didn't want to go. "I started church the old-fashioned way. I was forced to," he says, before knocking Republican opponent Bob Corker for mislabeling him. Interestingly, Corker has his own church ad. Then there's the Democratic praise for a TV ad from a Republican: Maryland's Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, also a Senate candidate. Steele's ad is his second offbeat attempt to portray a nonpolitical agenda. In it, he predicts he'll be attacked by his opponent, Rep. Ben Cardin, and Washington Democrats for a bunch of stuff, even hating puppies. "For the record, I love puppies," he says. A Democrat strategist tells me, "It's a brilliant bid to sound like he's just one of us." Republicans agree but hope Steele next tries to take on Cardin a bit more.