Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's Fall, where is your TV?

Normally, election idiocy remains in hiding until after Labor Day - not this year. The blogs are alive with all sorts of twitterpation about the range of political ads in this Fall's elections. I am most interested in the California Governor's race and today the democrat candidate, State Treasurer Phil Angelides released one of the least effective ads I have ever seen. The ad is a cut from a speech that Governor Schwarzennegger gave for Bush in 2004. The ad, which was released by the Democrat party of California ends with the tagline - Arnold Schwarzennegger is for George W. Bush, is he for you? I am not really sure how tying Bush to Schwarzennegger makes Angelides a better candidate. I would expect that those people who already hate Bush have decided how they will vote. Immediately, the Schwarzennegger campaign released an ad with the opening line of "Where does Phil Angelides live?" It then goes on to reinforce the view that the Governor has been successful in renewing the state. Thus, the two ads contrast with each other - Angelides' makes no claims about what he will do as Governor and Schwarzennegger reviews what he thinks he has done. In my mind trying to tie a politician to another is a tough enough job. Voters are intelligent enough, except those motivated by unreasoning hatred of Bush, to make a distinction. They know the GOP politicians will help to elect other GOP candidates.

Then there is the race in Washington. Democrat Darcy Burner is challenging Republican Dave Reichert in Washington's 8th Congressional District. Burner released an ad today that tried to reinforce values and a couple of key and staple democrat issues. The left side of the blogosphere had a fit. The ad (which is available on Real Clear Politics) is a soft sell ad and I thought it was pretty good. I do not know what her opponent has done. His website does not have his ads posted - although he is endorsed by firefighters and cops (he was one). So I cannot tell how this one is going. But I suspect Ms. Burner's ads will play pretty well in Washington.

Many in the blogosphere expect absolute purity on issues. If a liberal can see anything positive about George Bush - then he isn't one of us. Ditto for conservatives and their pet issues. Most voters are a lot more realistic.

As I said, it is early in the campaign season. Angelides could develop a message and Burner may have missed with the ad which touts her thoughts on some issues that seem to show up in polls across the country. But if this is the level of introspection and thought that will go into campaign commentary for 2006 - this will be a very long year.

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