Posted at 5:11 PM on September 25, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Mark Kennedy has a new ad out that goes after Amy Klobuchar.
It starts out much like the other ad with Klobuchar saying "The best way to look at someone to see if they're going to do good work for you is to see what they've done in the past.." and then plays ominous music. This text comes up with ominous music and Klobuchar's "see what they've done in the past" on a loop:
"Amy Klobuchar promised to crack down on drug dealers...
...But 52% of first degree drug felons were given lighter sentences."
"Klobuchar promised to keep gun criminals off of our streets...
...Then she kept handing out plea bargains."
"Klobuchar promised to be tough on repeat offenders...
...but career criminals continued to get plea bargains."
The video ends with Klobuchar saying "see what they've done in the past" and the text "Amy Klobuchar -- Broken Promises." I couldn't read the citations under each entry because the video on Kennedy's website is too small. What do you think?
Kennedy is getting extremely desperate. I hope he drags Pawlenty, Bachmann, Kiffmeyer and all the rest down with him.
Despicable? Really? And what, pray tell, is so heinous about looking at what Klobuchar has done in her one elected office, since there might be a miniscule chance her performance would be relevant to the next office for which she is running?
Are any of those statements untrue? Out of context? Unfair? Can it be argued that the statements are true or fair? If so, than isn't it within bounds, even if you don't agree with it?
Or is that your formula? Despicable = Whatever I don't agree with?
Yeesh, the way some of you folks go running for the fainting couch at the slightest sign of vigorous advocacy when important things are at stake, one wonders what you think is worth fighting for.
Maybe I'm just a partisan Democrat, but that seems like a really badly made ad.
I pass no judgment on the quality of the ad, but I'll take a stab at Jeff's challenge:
1. Lighter sentences. This is a direct impact of Hennepin County's Drug Court. At a minimum, it has little to do with Klobuchar.
2. Plea bargins and "gun criminals." There is no correlation. It doesn't say that plea bargins were given directly to gun criminals; it only mentions them in the same sentence. For all anyone knows, plea bargins were handed out to shoplifters.
3. Career criminals and pleas. See number 2. No one knows which career criminals. Criminals with a career of rape would be one thing; criminals with a career of petty-misdemeanor property crimes is another.
Despicable is probably the wrong word. "Misleading" or "disingenuous" is probably better.
Slimy and desperate.
It think it is too "over the top", causing people to question the message and the authenticity! Frankly, patronizing.
When I get a phone call from a fund raiser, Democratic or Republican, and the message is some variant of "we can't let that other party win" I tell them that the just blew it. Why? Because I'm tired of politcal strategies that tell me what's wrong with someone else. I'm tired of someone trying to win by taking down someone else. I am tired of 'narrow-terpeting' in ads where one 'fact' is extrapolated to represent someone's character.
Instead, I want to hear candidates share their vision for whatever position he/she is running: the country, the state, the city. I want to hear their concrete plan for achieving their goals. I want to know why I should consider voting for that person.
Kennedy is a good candidate with specific views which is why his ad was distressing. Negative campaining is a bankrupt strategy and many of us who are not active politicos are very tired of it.
To expand on this idea, I don't live in either Republican America, Democratic America, Christian Right America, Liberal America. I live in the United States of America. We have allowed our politics to become divisive instead of inclusive. We have allowed our voting to be hijaked by special interests, many of which are narrow slices of America (albeit well funded ones). Strategies for staying in (or acquiring) power have a headlock on strategies for solving the magnitude of issues and factors we now face as a nation. We have been dis-unioned. We might be in America, but we are no longer united. Statesmanship appears dead. We are weaker for it.
Everyone relizes that if negative adds didn't work, the campaigns would stop spending loads of money on them.....
If you have such a beef with negative ads, why not stop voting for folks who put them out?
Barry, you are correct in your analysis. You might consider a candidate from a party other than the Ds and Rs.
This ad is the kind of thing that vindicates McLuhan. If Kennedy's message is so clear and cogent, why does he need lurid music and spooky visual effects to make his point? Can't he just say what he thinks?
The literal content of the ad--the various assertions with their relative merits--serves only to occupy the viewers' conscious attention. Meanwhile the ad does its real work in the viewer's unconscious, where the A/V special effects convey the message that Amy K. is the Bride of Frankenstein.
The medium is the message.