Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Ads Going After McCain

Here are some ads that are starting to appear either online or on TV or both that attack John McCain in various ways. I think a discussion of their effectiveness (both in terms of our own perceptions and how we think they'll influence others) would be interesting. Do we think they are fair charges? Are they overly negative? Slimy? Disingenuous?

1) This one is the newest I think. It shows a young mother saying that McCain can't have her infant son for his 100 year war in Iraq. I think this is devastating for McCain. I think it will slam the door on him for the Clinton supporters who were going to cast a spite vote for McCain. I've seen this online and on TV.

2) This one has been around for a while. It's a parody of the pro-Obama ad "Yes We Can" that's been around since Iowa. It directly contrasts McCain's positions with Obama's. It squarely portrays McCain as the "Anti-change" candidate. I think this one will have traction with young liberals but not really anyone else. I haven't seen it on TV. I think it's a little unfair because it implies that Obama is in favor of equal marriage rights for Gay couples and he's actually hedging awkwardly on that one (along with most high profile Democrats).

3) Here is what I think of as the Gen X ad. It features John Cusack linking McCain to Bush. I think many of the people on this blog will remember Cusack's films about being a teenager in the 80s or an alienated young adult in the 90s. Haven't seen it on TV but I think its target demographic is mostly online anyway.

4) Here is one that is more traditional that is from the DNC. This one hits McCain on the economy. I think this one will see A LOT of air time and really hit McCain in swing states like Ohio and Missouri. The ultimate question, "Do you feel better off?" Followed by the statement, "because John McCain thinks you are."


The Law Talking Guy said...

The Alex (little kid) ad is exactly why should not be allowed to make ads. Sure, it makes your heart pound if you're already and antiwar liberal. But that's not the target audience. The obvious retorts are John McCain's mother saying "they took my son - he served with honor" or Cindy McCain saying of their son Jim (who served in Iraq for a year ending Feb '08) "they took my son." Or pictures of Arlington and Normandy showing rows of tombstones and the tagline "Alex owes his freedom, even his life, to them. So do you." That ad is a huge fucking mistake.

The John Cusack ad is terrible for different reasons. It's visually and audially boring. My eyes glazed over. They need the visual of McCain and Bush together. Over and over again. All I could think about in watching that ad is that John Cusack used to work out at my gym, and aside from being reclusive, he would often wear this odd full-body-suit black leotard thing that was disturbing on many levels. Now you too can enjoy that image.

By contrast, the DNC ad is terrific. Pound John McCain on his defense of Bush's economic record! Terrific job. But still, we need that visual of him and Bush togther. Over and over again.

History Buff said...

Are the ads fair??

Well the one with the kid is disengenuous, McCain can't have that kid unless he decides to go or the draft is reinstated.

No You Can't--kind of silly, and there might be a few takers on the $50/hour to work in the fields in Yuma, but most Americans are too soft to stick that kind of job out--have you spent much time out in the desert in the summer?

The Gen-X ad was a little confusing I wasn't sure who he was comparing until the end of the ad.

The last ad--the only question I would have was when did McCain answer those questions? Recently or awhile back? Of course, most people are not going to think that hard.

Raised By Republicans said...

History Buff, that question about the economy was something that McCain answered during the run up to the Iowa Caucus in 2008. So it's pretty recent. You can tell because the question is "do you think people are better off than they were 8 years ago?" If it were a few years old, they wouldn't have picked 8 years as the reference point.

I think the kid ad will be more effective than LTG allows. I do think that the Republicans will respond with exactly the argument LTG suggests. But I think their response will mostly appeal to men. The ad is designed to bring women who strongly supported Clinton back into the fold.

I'd be interested in hearing how it appeals to US West and especially Seventh Sister (the only known mother in our little circle here).

Anonymous said...

The John Cusack one totally worked for me, but that's probably because of "Say Anything" and "High Fidelity." The sensitive new age guy, as it were.

As for the "Alex" ad, it grated. If this woman was in my Mommy and Me class, she'd be the one I'm secretly rolling my eyes at. (My heart does not pound when Law Talking Baby awakens at 1am and looks in my eyes.) My initial thought was, "great, the cult of perfect motherhood, where you get to control every outcome in your child's life." But I'm probably a bit of a cynical outlier in my cohort.*

The son of your average yoga mom isn't going to be in the military absent a draft. That being said, it might appeal to older Clinton supporters since it is pretty sentimental.

-Seventh Sister

*For the record, I adore Law Talking Baby.

USwest said...

Ad 1: Don't like it. Doesn't move me. I makes me mad. For starters, the pander factor is so high, I am feeling manipulated. You are telling me as a mother that this is either how I feel or how I should feel. It plays to a stereotype of motherhood that I dislike. I keep thinking of that old ad done in the 1960s or 70s of the small girl counting the daisy petals and then seeing the bomb go off. That is effective. That touches everyone who is a parent. This one just bugs me. I am not a mother and women who can see policy only through the eyes of being mother or who think their kid is top and they are the top for being mothers irritate me. So this women irritates me. Seventh Sister may have a slightly different take because she is a mother.

Ad 2: It's short, which is good. But if you haven't seen the "YES WE CAN" ad for Obama, you won't get it. And I think it is poorly done. And I agree, that none of us is really ready to go out and work a field. So I am not going to fault McCain for stating the truth. If this is a pro-Obama add, then it doesn't work because I don't think Obama is for sending immigrants or migrant workers home for good either. Is it an issue ad? Then the message is "accept immigration, like John McCain does." I would have loved to see the scene where he says that job lost will not come back.

Ad 3: I agree with what has been said about it. Confusing, a lot is coming really fast, no visual aid to help focus your attention. If you don't listen carefully, you miss it. It is trying to deal with too many issues.

Ad 4: the best of the group. It has what Ad 3 doesn't, good visual counterpoints. It is focused on one thing, the economy. And it shows how misinformed McCain is.

USwest said...

One more thing in the mother ad: what also bothers me is how that woman looks. She hasn't combed her hair, she hasn't washed her face or fixed herself up in any way. And I wonder if she has slept recently. Mothers don't have to look like that, thank you very much! In fact, mothers who work, never look like that. I am going to bet that they want to appeal to Christians who believe in stay-at-home motherhood.

The kid is way cute, though.

History Buff said...

Mom ad--I stayed at home with my kids when they were little and I looked just like that. Although I didn't talk like that--I was more likely to say, get me out of here before I kill this kid-I'm only getting one hour of sleep a night. But I agree with US West, that is not Hillary's constituency. Perhaps they are going after the christian right vote.

I also love my kids and think they are great, but I raised them to be independent and to make their own decisions.