Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wall's first ad against Feingold

- "Fed Up"

Notice the themes here and speculate about how widespread this theme will be in 2010.


  1. republican candidates starting the campaign off with negative ads? healthcare is going to be a huge deal for the mid-term elections

  2. Interesting that the Republicans would be willing to use negative campaigning right off to bat given the huge stigma against it back in 2008. When you run an attack ad, you're risking just as much damage to yourself - lest you be painted as that candidate who nitpicks at the other while offering little change yourself.

    It's pretty clever that they chose to insult Feingold through a surrogate rather than the voice-over, because it reduces that blowback and because it has more of a "popular" feel to it. The angry woman at the town hall meeting is not a high-powered politician or lobbyist; she's very relate-able for the average frustrated Republican.

    As if it wasn't already obvious, this ad shows how health care is going to be the big issue this year. It had nothing much to say about Wall other than that he's going to block the health care reform. And it's an effective, easy strategy, so why not? The majority of the Republican base has been completely riled up into hating this change to the status quo, and will willingly vote for someone who promises to stand against it.

    The Obama administration has a lot to lose on people like this, and should consider platforms like Wall's to be a real threat. If he fails to get the reform passed, he'll lose much legitimacy with his own supporters. It's really frustrating to be a Democrat and control the house, the senate, the speaker, and the presidency, and fail to accomplish the one thing your administration set out to do. If Bush had wanted to pass something as heated as this, he'd have bulldozed the opposition in half the time it has already taken Obama.

    Clinton's entire platform was universal health care; those people haven't gone anywhere. They might have voted Obama back in 2008, but if he's not going to offer this to them, that's a lot of disillusioned Democrats who won't be willing to show out for him at the polls in 2012.

  3. This ad just goes to show that Democrats have a lot to defend. They have to show that some progress has been made - whether with jobs, the economy, or health care - in order to fend off some of these attacks by the Republicans.

    I know others above noted that this was risky advertisement to run (which I tend to agree with in many respects), but there is also no doubt that this caught people's eye and will perhaps generate some name recondition for Wall which is something he critically needs in his race against Feingold.

    I think it's also important for the GOP to try and harness the lingering energy or revive the images from those Town Hall meetings on healthcare reform held this summer. We saw one of the most significant political movements in the history of this country - people were angry and played a more active role then ever before in recent memory.

    The polls prove it as well…this is not a good year to be an incumbent from either party (http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/02/16/incumbents.poll/index.html?hpt=Sbin). It will be interesting to see how this November turns out.

  4. I just saw this ad on television the other day. What makes this whole strategy sad is Terrence Wall's immediate jump on not just one but two negative campaign ads. If you go to his campaign YouTube page, there is only one 3-minute "feel good" ad about him. In my opinion, a candidate should not just come out swinging this early. You have to establish your brand first. Let the people know who you are and what you stand for.

    Ashley B.

  5. Soly - I think you make a mistake here in assuming that the woman in the ad is a republican. The goal of the add, as you point out, is to put a person on there who everyday Americans can relate to. The message is that it is everyday Americans of no particular party who are demanding accountability, not just registered angry republicans.


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