September, 2011

2012 Ad War: Rick Perry’s Glossy Pitch

This is the first in a guest series from Inkwell Strategies analyzing the 2012 campaign ad war.

In the coming weeks and months, the Republican primary campaign will shift from debating and handshaking to the far more expensive – and often uglier – realm of paid media.

While we haven’t yet seen many candidates go up on the airwaves, we are seeing an uptick in the number of web ads – commercials designed not for a television audience, but for online viewers.

Web ads are a great way to tinker with the candidate’s message while earning free (or very inexpensive) coverage. Think of them as spring training for media consultants.

Last week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a powerful ad that almost surely previews his traditional television advertising campaign to come. Politics aside, the ad is not only a master stroke by his campaign team, but required viewing for anyone interested in the art of candidate marketing.

FBI Arrests Man for Extortion Threat Against Tomblin

The FBI alleges a Florida man “attempted an extortion plot that threatened to smear acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) in West Virginia’s upcoming special election for governor,” the AP reports.

The threat involved a video allegedly showing inhumane practices at an Oklahoma greyhound kennel. In the emails, the man says the campaign of Bill Maloney (R), wanted the video. Maloney has attacked Tomblin over his mother’s greyhound breeding business.

The special election is on Tuesday.

Huckabee Reconsiders Presidential Bid

Mike Huckabee “has been approached by Republican and conservative activists unhappy with the current crop of presidential hopefuls and he is considering entering the fray,” Reuters reports.

Update: A source close to Huckabee tells CBS News that “there are
certainly people that have asked him to reconsider his decision, even
more so lately, but at this point that is not something he is doing.”

Connecticut a Toss Up State?

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Connecticut finds President Obama barely leading Mitt Romney in a general election match up, 47% to 45%.

Key findings: “Obama’s poor showing in Connecticut is mostly a function of his own unpopularity. Despite having won it by 23 points in 2008 his approval numbers are now under water at 48/49. That represents a 17 point net shift in the wrong direction since PPP last polled the state in March.”

However, Obama leads the rest of the Republican field by double digits.

Did the Baby Boomers Break Government?

CNN: “Could it be that the reason our government is broken is because of which generation is running things?”

“Authors Morley Winograd and Michael Hais think so, insisting that the problem is that power is now firmly in the hands of self-righteous baby boomers who have spent their entire lives convinced that anyone who disagrees with them is morally inferior. Boomers won’t negotiate anything, Winograd and Hais say, because they think every position they hold is rooted in something no less sacred than their values, and they’re understandably reluctant to negotiate their values.”

Searching for Sarah Palin

Jack Shafer reviews The Rogue by Joe McGinniss:

“To call a book a hatchet job is not necessarily to disparage it. Some subjects can’t be accurately rendered in a fair and balanced sketch, demanding instead the defacement that Lucian Freud brought to portraiture. That said, a smartly swung sharp blade makes for better literary blood sport than the butt-end bludgeonry McGinniss visits upon Palin and her husband, Todd…”

“By book’s end, I felt a little like the Pa­lins — eager for McGinniss to
move out of my neighborhood. He establishes that Sarah Palin’s
ambitions dwarf her talents, that she’s the world’s oldest mean girl and
that she has a tendency to become a liability to even her closest
allies. But no hatchet job was needed to convince an average reader of
that. The only fresh meat McGinniss cuts in The Rogue is connected to
his knuckles.”

Palin Backs Off Her Own Deadline

Sarah Palin told Fox News she would be making any decisions on a presidential run by her own self-imposed deadline by the end of September.

Said Palin: “I hold my political cards close to my chest. I’ve certainly learned lessons along those lines, and I’m going to continue to do that until I’m ready to make an announcement. This is a serious decision, and I’m engaged in serious deliberations and within the next 24 hours, don’t look for me to make a decision.”

Just in case, Red State is giving hourly updates.

Obama Plots New Path to 270 Electoral Votes

The New York Times reports President Obama’s re-election campaign “is charting an alternative course to re-election should he be unable to win Ohio and other industrial states traditionally essential to Democratic presidential victories.”

“Without conceding ground anywhere, Mr. Obama is fighting hard for Southern and Rocky Mountain states he won in 2008, and some he did not, in calculating how to assemble the necessary 270 electoral votes. He is seeking to prove that those victories on formerly Republican turf were not flukes but the start of a trend that will make Democrats competitive there for years.”

Said strategist David Axelrod: “There are a lot of ways for us to get to 270, and it’s not just the traditional map. That’s why we’re laying the groundwork across the country to compete on the widest possible playing field next year.”

Obama Doesn’t Have Votes to Pass Jobs Bill

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told WLS-AM that Senate Democrats do not have enough votes to pass President Obama’s latest jobs bill.

Explained Durbin: “There are some senators who are up for election who say I’m never gonna vote for a tax increase while I’m up for election, even on the wealthiest people. So, we’re not gonna have 100% Democratic senators. That’s why it needs to be bi-partisan and I hope we can find some Republicans who will join us to make it happen.”

Mark Halperin: “Presidents who demand congressional action in a high profile way on
specific pieces of legislation don’t have a very great track record.
While the White House maintains its confident public posture that the
jobs bill (or something like it) will pass, at this point it remains
hard to see how, despite the President’s sales job.”