Tags: Campaign Advertising

Spared by the Sequester: $20 Million to Help the Palestinian Authority


Another chunk of federal spending that the sequester missed: A $20.4 million contract to to help out the Palestinian Authority.

The contract’s description:

The overall goal of the program is to build more effective and competent Palestinian Authority (PA) public institutions that are accountable to the public and respond to citizens’ needs. The objectives of this activity are to support the Palestinian Authority (PA) public sector reform efforts by assisting the PA to strengthen the operational and management capability of key ministries and public sector institutions to govern more effectively; improve mechanisms of service provision; strengthen legal and policy formulation processes; enhance the performance of targeted PA institutions, and bolster accountability and oversight mechanisms. This program will support key elements of the PA’s reform and development agenda.

The contract, to Development Alternatives, Inc., was awarded March 4, several days after the sequester began.

Just think, with this $20,451,849, you could keep the White House tours going for two decades.

Above: In this Reuters photo, we see the cheery, warm, and friendly Palestinians, expressing their appreciation for the $4 billion in assistance the U.S. government has sent them since the mid-1990s.

Tags: Foreign Aid , Palestinian Authority , Campaign Advertising

Not Sequestered: USAID’s $5 Million Performance Review in Tbilisi


The harsh life under sequester continues. Yesterday the U.S. Agency for International Development could only ink a $5 million contract with Mendez, England & Associates to provide “USAID Mission to Georgia with services of conducting external/independent performance and impact evaluations over the course of five years in line with USAID evaluation policy, based on USAID requirements and through building the local capacity in the filed of evaluation.”

Now, Georgia is a U.S. ally, and there are concerns about the country becoming more influenced by the Russians. Perhaps USAID will be able to do a lot of good by paying that $5 million to that firm.

But when we hear about 800,000 Department of Defense employees getting furloughs, or any sequester cut that seems genuinely painful to the American public, we can wonder whether that $5 million performance evaluation of USAID work over in Tbilisi could have been postponed. 

Tags: Foreign Aid , Campaign Advertising

Sequester Cuts Obama’s Job Approval by More Than 2 Percent



A Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Wednesday showed 43 percent of people approve of Obama’s handling of his job, down 7 percentage points from February 19.

Most of that steep drop came in the week to February 26 when it was becoming clear that Washington was going to be unable to put aside partisan differences and agree to halt automatic budget cuts which started last Friday.


Thirty-eight percent of Americans believe all the political actors involved — Republican and Democratic members of Congress along with Obama — deserve most of the blame for the cuts.

Twenty-seven percent think Republicans in Congress are responsible, 17 percent blamed Obama and 6 percent thought Democrats were to blame. Nearly half of independent voters, 49 percent, said both sides deserve the blame.

Every president generates a bit of “buyer’s remorse” from the electorate in his second term. Perhaps Obama’s is hitting early . . .

Tags: Barack Obama , Polling , Campaign Advertising

Hillary’s $85,000 Global Exit Interview


The U.S. State Department spent $85,000 on a “Global Townterview” with Hillary Clinton — that’s the actual term used by the department — at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on January 29. The event occurred one week before Secretary Clinton departed her position.

It lasted one hour and ten minutes and can be seen here.

Your pre-sequestration tax dollars at work.

Tags: Hillary Clinton , Campaign Advertising , Cory Booker

Under Sequester, the Sky Is 2 Percent Lower and Dropping, Honest!


The Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt offers a look at which side is really being stubborn in the sequester fight, the mixed bag of revealed nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize, and . . .

Obama’s Cabinet: the Sky Is Falling, and It’s All Sequester’s Fault, Honest!

No sooner than one cabinet secretary apologizes for peddling implausible lines about the sequester’s effect . . .

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday he misspoke when he recently claimed schools were already firing teachers in anticipation of sequester cuts taking effect.

“When I said ‘pink slips’ that was probably the wrong word,” Duncan said to reporters, according to multiple reports. “Language matters, and I need to be very, very clear.”

. . . another one gets herself into trouble:

Both the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection predict sequestration budget cuts will mean more time stuck in line for travelers using America’s airways, but three days in, only some of those increases have materialized.

Enter your airport’s information on the TSA’s website for a quick listing of line times at each security checkpoint. A spokesperson at Reagan National Airport said Monday that neither Reagan nor nearby Dulles International Airport were seeing a change in wait times.

TSA’s press office said on Friday that the sequester would not trigger an immediate increase in wait times, but as they put in place a hiring freeze and see staffing levels drop, peak wait times at large airports could go up to an hour or more.

A second website allows flyers to see which airports are experiencing flight delays, which can also lengthen travel time.

The only airport showing delays on the Federal Aviation Administration website Monday afternoon was San Francisco International where weather was slowing planes out of the gate.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday waits at Customs had already gone up by 150 to 200 percent.

Look at the bright side: we got the Secretary of Education to concede that “language matters.”

The administration’s “Washington Monument” strategy continues.

Above, the “Fallout” of the Sequester.

Meanwhile, Rick Wilson points out that on February 13, the TSA signed a contract for $50 million on new uniforms.

“Let the sky fall,” as Adele sang.

Tags: Arne Duncan , Janet Napolitano , Campaign Advertising

White House on Sequester Deal in 2011: ‘A Win for the Economy, Budget Discipline’


Hey, what was the White House saying when President Obama signed the sequester deal?

Fact Sheet: Bipartisan Debt Deal: A Win for the Economy and Budget Discipline

The Deal Includes An Automatic Sequester to Ensure That At Least $1.2 Trillion in Deficit Reduction Is Achieved By 2013 Beyond the Discretionary Caps: The deal includes an automatic sequester on certain spending programs to ensure that—between the Committee and the trigger—we at least put in place an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by 2013. 

Consistent With Past Practice, Sequester Would Be Divided Equally Between Defense and Non-Defense Programs and Exempt Social Security, Medicaid, and Low-Income Programs: Consistent with the bipartisan precedents established in the 1980s and 1990s, the sequester would be divided equally between defense and non-defense program, and it would exempt Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement. Likewise, any cuts to Medicare would be capped and limited to the provider side.

Sequester Would Provide a Strong Incentive for Both Sides to Come to the Table:  If the fiscal committee took no action, the deal would automatically add nearly $500 billion in defense cuts on top of cuts already made, and, at the same time, it would cut critical programs like infrastructure or education.  That outcome would be unacceptable to many Republicans and Democrats alike – creating pressure for a bipartisan agreement without requiring the threat of a default with unthinkable consequences for our economy.

Now, they call those cuts “unacceptable,” but the sequester did meet President Obama’s top priorities – exempting Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement. You only get so many top priorities. If you want to defend some areas of the budget from any cuts – you know, $85 billion out of a $3.8 trillion in a year with a projected deficit of $901 billion – you have to make some cuts in other areas. Cuts that range between 2 percent for Medicare and 10 percent for mandatory defense spending.

The sequester was a bet by the leadership of both parties in July 2011. Speaker  Boehner bet that the next time he had to deal with the sequestration cuts, he would be working with President Romney; President Obama bet that the next time he had to deal with the sequestration cuts, he would be working with Speaker Pelosi. They both lost.

Tags: Barack Obama , John Boehner , Campaign Advertising

You Can’t Community-Organize Your Way Out of a Sequester


From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

You Can’t Community-Organize Your Way Out of a Sequester

You’re familiar with the notion of the Hedgehog and the Fox, right? “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”?

Hardball producer Michael LaRossa marvels, “Only in America can a President propose a law, get it passed, and then actively campaign against implementing it.” Yes, instead of spending time in Washington, with all of the members of Congress who could pass something to replace the sequester, Obama went to Newport News to hold a campaign-style event shouting about the need to pass something to replace the sequester.

Permit me to spotlight a funny recent essay by Red State contributor Moe Lane, where he examines the skills and philosophy of President Obama through the lens of role-playing games:

To begin with: a munchkin (or power gamer, or mini-maxer, or a bunch of terms that cannot be repeated here) is a type of gamer (roleplaying, computer, roleplaying-computer) who looks for loopholes in the rules – because games have rules, and there isn’t a rule-set in the world that cannot be manipulated by somebody with enough motivation/obsession.  And it turns out that the American Democratic primary system was full of such loopholes, which is why Barack Obama won the nomination in 2008 despite losing almost all the big Democratic primary states (and arguably the popular vote, depending on how you score Michigan).  And it also turns out that the intersection of our electoral system with our rapidly-expanding online culture can produce what computer gamers call “exploits:” which is to say, a glitch in the system that gives someone an unintended benefit (if it just crashes the system, it’s a bug).  Strictly speaking, the system is not designed to elevate a state Senator to the Presidency in five years – for what turned out to be very good reasons – but it can be done.

Mini-maxing is when a player designs a character that is fantastically good at one thing, at the expense of everything else.  So you could end up with a character who is, say, obscenely good at hitting things with a sword – but can’t convince a bunch of sailors to drink free beer.  The mini-maxer doesn’t mind; he’ll just go around the game trying to resolve as many problems as he can by hitting them with a sword (tabletop gamers – err, “D&D players” – often call this The Gun is My Skill List, although obviously substitute a sword for a gun in the name).  The problems that the mini-maxer can’t resolve that way he’ll either ignore until later, or else flail about on the screen while hitting the buttons quickly and/or at random (“button-mashing”), in the hopes that eventually the laws of probability will allow him to bull on through anyway.

And that’s where we are now.  Barack Obama knows how to do one thing: elect Barack Obama to public office.  And that’s not ‘elect Democrats.’  Or ‘elect liberals.’  Or even ‘elect people that Barack Obama likes.’  It’s just him: his team is trying pretty hard right now to figure out how to use their over-specialized skill more generally, but they don’t have much time to figure it out and the system is actually rigged against them in this case.  Barack Obama certainly doesn’t know how to govern effectively; take away a Congress that will rubber-stamp the Democratic agenda and he flails about.  He’s so bad at this, in fact, that when confronted with a situation where all he had to do was do nothing to fulfill a campaign promise (the tax cuts) we somehow ended up with a situation where Obama gave in on 98% of those tax cuts and voluntarily signed up to take the blame for the AMT fix.  In short: Obama was woefully unprepared for the Presidency, and he hasn’t really spent the last four years trying to catch up.  Instead, he goes from situation to situation either trying to recast the problem in ways that he does have some skill in (permanent campaigning for office), or else… flail about on the scene while hitting people’s buttons quickly and/or at random, in the hopes that eventually the laws of probability will allow him to bull on through anyway.

How did Obama try to pass his stimulus? Campaign-style events. How did Obama try to pass Obamacare? Campaign-style events. How is Obama pushing for amnesty legislation? Campaign-style events. How is Obama pushing for gun control? Campaign-style events. Fiscal cliff? Campaign-style events. This is all separate from his actual presidential campaign.

But mind you, his campaign-style rallies didn’t move the poll numbers on Obamacare, and Democrats to this day never use the word “stimulus” when discussing new spending. Obama is very good at getting people to like him and believe in him – more than for his agenda. We see this phenomenon when his overall job approval rating is 5-10 points higher than his handling of most major issues like the economy.

But this is what he knows, and with his reelection, he’s convinced it works. So here we go. More cowbell.

He’s got a fever.

Tags: Barack Obama , Campaign Advertising

D.C. Budget Fights Have Jumped the Shark


From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

The Sequester Pester

It’s kind of fascinating to see President Obama pursue a strategy of rallying the public in opposition to the sequester, because I think most observers would agree that the American people have a severe case of Washington Crisis Fatigue.

The president’s rallying cry is, “Rise up and call Congress to stop this!” And the American people look at what seems like a rerun of previous spending fights, shrug, and say, “meh.”

I’ll turn to an unexpected source, Megan Carpentier of Raw Story, to set the stage of our national exhaustion and cynicism:

The latest fight — over what is termed “sequester” inside the Beltway and which politicos and reporters alike have repeated ad infinitum without much explanation to their constituents and readers — is in fact just another continuation of the ongoing budget fights over which Republicans and Democrats have threatened government shutdowns for more than two years.

Eighteen months ago, after months of threats and posturing, President Obama suggested and Congressional Republicans and Democrats agreed to create a magical deadline to get their [stuff] together or else be forced to explain a rash of immediate spending cuts to the American people. Both sides agreed to the deal, figuring that the other would face a humiliating defeat in the 2012 elections; instead, the elections insured a continuation of the dysfunctional status quo and the continued unwillingness of anyone to behave like a political leader rather than a political brawler.

And yet, somehow, very few people outside the echo chamber can be forced to care. Why? Because we’ve all seen this little one-act play out before, enough times that it’s hard to take it seriously. There’s no dramatic filibuster where a Senator stands for hours reading from a cookbook or The Federalist Papers, no video footage of GSA workers being locked out of their offices or postal sorting machines sitting idle, no actual effect on anyone’s day-to-day life, the political rhetoric on the Hill or the situation of the federal budget. We all assume that they’ll sit around pointing fingers and calling one another names like a bunch of school kids until the very last minute, when they’ll hammer out another reasonably foolish compromise that keeps the government open for another six months without solving the fundamental dispute, pat themselves on the back and go back to naming post offices and arguing about gun control and trying to land tortured one-liners on the Sunday talk shows until they’re forced to repeat the posturing all over again.

It’s tiresome, it’s foolish, it’s (deliberately, one starts to assume) difficult for most Americans to follow, let alone care about, and it does nothing to solve any of the varying problems identified as such for either side. And the more they do it, they more they’ll earn the disapproval and disrespect of Americans on all sides of the political spectrum.

One wonders if we’ll get another Chris Christie tirade in the coming days, when you see the fact that Sandy relief funding may be cut as a result of this:

In a statement, Rep. Michael Grimm said, “President Obama has no one to blame but himself for the consequences of sequestration. He proposed it and he insisted on it. As a result, we are faced with reckless, across-the-board cuts that will hurt important local programs, cost us jobs and decrease the amount of Sandy relief funding we fought hard to move through Congress.”

“Shifting the blame to Congress is a shameless political tactic,” added Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn). “The House has twice passed legislation to replace the president’s job-killing sequester with targeted, common-sense cuts. I voted for both proposals; however, the Senate refused to act on them. If the president is serious about finding a solution, he will reach out to Congress to identify responsible ways to cut $85 billion, something the House has already done … No one should be talking about another round of tax hikes, when sequestration can be easily avoided through responsible cuts.”

By the way, one reason nobody believes the “CRISIS!” rhetoric can be found in the sentence that immediately follows Grimm’s remarks: “Obama’s remarks came a day after he returned to Washington from a three-day golfing weekend in Florida.”

The sequester must be stopped… but only after 18 holes with Tiger!

Charlie Spiering reminds  us that back in November 2011, Obama was pledging, “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.  There will be no easy off ramps on this one.”

Here’s projection of the economic fallout of the sequester: GDP growth in 2013 shrinking from 2.6 percent to 2 percent, cost roughly 700,000 jobs (including reductions in armed forces), pushing the civilian unemployment rate up ¼ percentage point, to 7.4 percent. The MacroAdvisers urge, “By far the preferable policy is a credible long-term plan to shrink the deficit more slowly through some combination of revenue increases within broad tax reform, more carefully considered cuts in discretionary spending, and fundamental reform of entitlement programs.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Campaign Advertising

Obama: Defender of the Status Quo


After a tough three-day weekend of golfing with the boys away from Michelle and the girls, President Obama returns to work today with a press statement standing beside “a group of emergency responders who might have to absorb some of the sequestration cuts.”

Of course, as Bob Woodward reported, Obama is denouncing his own idea: “First, it was the White House. It was Obama and Jack Lew and Rob Nabors who went to the Democratic Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, and said, ‘this is the solution.’ But everyone has their fingerprints on this.”

Sequestration was put together as part of the budget deal in 2011. The administration had more than a year to work out an alternative; you’ll recall that the day after the 2012 election, House Speaker John Boehner declared, “we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions.”

On February 5, President Obama urged Congress to “pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months,” roughly three weeks before the deadline.

There’s a similar dynamic to all of the fights between Obama and Republican leaders in Congress. He claims to be adamantly opposed to the status quo, but his actions suggest otherwise. He wants a long-term budget deal, but won’t pressure the Senate to pass its own budget and only offers broad guidelines. He says he wants to ensure the long-term viability of entitlements, but won’t propose any bold reforms of his own.

He did propose – well, leak – his own immigration reform plan, but that appears more likely to blow up the delicate balance of support for the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” bill. After all, he’s basically telling Democrats that if they don’t like the Rubio-Schumer deal, they can hold out and push the president’s.

His rallying cry on guns is that the proposals… “deserve a vote”, not that they must pass.

What has Obama spent much of the past years campaigning against? The horror of budget cuts, the heartless cruelty of entitlement reform, the failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and the callousness of the “gun lobby.” Getting a bill passed in any of these areas would take away his ability to campaign on these issues as he aims to help Congressional Democrats in the 2014 midterms.

Tags: Barack Obama , Entitlements , Immigration Reform , John Boehner , Campaign Advertising

Getting Out the Vote . . . Everywhere


The Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt features a brief look at the Inauguration hoopla, some ominous developments in Mali and Algeria in the war on terror, and then this continuing discussion of how Republicans ought to tinker with new get-out-the-vote ideas and efforts in the races of 2013:

The Importance of Getting Out the Vote in Safe Precincts

The opening section of yesterday’s Jolt was urging Republicans to experiment with getting out the vote in the special elections coming up this year; with most of the races in districts that lean heavily to one party or the other, it’s unlikely any botched experiment would blow a 50-50 race. (If you didn’t receive it, you can read it on Campaign Spot here.)

In response, Morning Jolt reader John E. wrote in:

Appreciated your article today. It brought to mind something I observed in the Presidential election in my neck of the woods. My “neck of the woods” is a county in the Alabama-like Florida Panhandle. John McCain took 72% here and Mitt Romney got 75%. And yet, in 2012, the Obama people had an office in our small town (I think it was donated space), and there was an identifiable presence with signs, bumper stickers and such. In other words, the Obama supporters did not throw up their hands and ignore this area, even though they knew it was hopeless here. Still, their efforts may have squeezed out a few more votes for their candidate. And if you multiply that over several counties in Dixie-ish north Florida, well, you know the state was close and every vote counted.

Indeed; 74,309 votes, or one percentage point, in Florida.

One of the hot political books of last year was Sasha Issenberg’s The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns. The book alternated between fascinating anecdotes and a tough slog for me, as if Issenberg really wanted to tell a dramatic story about a punch of political scientists reviewing tables of data and trying to find differences of one or two percent in turnout. But just as if you’re rolling your eyes at another description of a data-crunching poli-sci geek as some convention-defying upstart, rebelling against the system as defiantly as Marlon Brando in The Wild One, you come across some bit of campaign experimentation that you think future campaigns ought to study.

In a chapter about Rick Perry’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Issenberg writes that the campaign agreed to randomize the schedule of visits, to see if there was some measurable impact from each campaign stop. They began the campaign at Texas Tech’s pavilion in Lubbock and then moved on to Addison outside Dallas, where he visited a Texas Instruments plant under construction, then on to Tyler and Beaumont, and so on.

When [data-researching academic and Perry campaign consultant Daron] Shaw reviewed the local media, he saw that Perry’s physical presence had a remarkable ability to drive coverage. In the twelve media markets Perry visited, he earned a report on the evening TV news in nine of them and a story in the next morning’s newspaper in all twelve. And unlike the stories produced by the Austin bureaus of the big Texas papers, which Perry’s aides often felt were unfair to their boss, the local coverage of his trips was almost exclusively positive. When Shaw coded the stories in all twelve markets on a five point scale on how good they made Perry look, they found that the campaign stop warmed the tone of the coverage in all but one. In the eight control markets Perry didn’t visit, the governor was barely covered in the media during the same period.

Shaw could tell that Perry was boosted by the warm reception he got on the road. Contributions went up in the cities that he visited, along with the number of new volunteers. Across the twelve markets, Perry’s approval rating went up from 41 to 46 percent, with his unfavorable number dropping slightly. While Perry gained four points in the four-way horse race, his lead over Chris Bell, the likely Democratic nominee, remained steady, though, each of them appearing to benefit from voters abandoning the two independent candidates. Shaw assumed, sensibly, that this meant that Perry’s presence energized not only Republicans but Democrats, too. When Shaw went back the following week, however, Perry’s lead hadn’t evaporated the way the TV-aided boost had. He held on to four points he had gained.

Obviously, an incumbent governor making a campaign stop is going to attract more attention than a little-known House candidate. But the observation that television advertising’s impact tends to dissipate quickly makes sense, and raises the question if all of that television advertising in spring and summer did much good for the campaigns last year.

If I were a Republican running in Illinois’s second congressional district, South Carolina’s first district, or Missouri’s eighth district in the coming months, I would have campaign “offices” — no matter the size, no matter the demographics of the surrounding neighborhood — in as many communities as possible, and I’d be attending every event down to the opening of an envelope, all over the district. (First step: get the candidate to attend every branch-office opening and invite the local media, all the way down to the local Patch reporters. And order a pizza or two.)

Tags: Campaign Advertising , Campaigns , Florida , Rick Perry , Texas

Is the Sequester or the Public’s Denial the Bigger Problem?


Permit me a stray radical thought or two . . .

House Speaker John Boehner says there’s been “no progress” in the budget talks in the past two weeks.

At this moment, Republicans in Congress need to examine which presents a more dire threat to the country:

A) A double-dip recession driven by the sequester and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, or

B) the public’s belief (verified through polling) that our giant debt, our ticking time bomb of entitlements, and our gargantuan government can be solved by “asking the richest Americans to pay a little bit more,” as Obama insists.

Option A is terrible, but Option B is the giant locked door blocking all of the real solutions.

So if we must have tax hikes, let the tax cuts for every income level expire and let everyone of every income level pay higher taxes. Destroy the illusion among so many voters that they can get all the government they want without paying more in taxes.

We hear the sequestration deal described as terrible, but it passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Obama. Everyone knew there was a possibility it would go into effect.

Mitt Romney and Republicans spent much of 2012 talking about how badly sequestration would endanger our national security by cutting defense spending. The American people voted for the man who signed it into law anyway. It is time we all saw the consequences of that.

House Republicans can and should say, “Almost all of us gave our word on opposing tax increases. Breaking that promise struck some of us as flatly unacceptable; others found it unthinkable without some sort of major policy concession from the president and his congressional allies. Not only were we expected to break our word, we were expected to so so in exchange for only the most modest of policy concessions. At no point did the president offer a deal worth it to our caucus.”

Will some portion of the public, probably a majority, blame House Republicans if there is no deal? Sure. But reaching a deal under Obama’s current terms would intensely alienate the base with little or no offsetting gain among those who currently blame (and hate) the Republicans. Many will argue that failing to reach a deal would spell doom for Republicans in the 2014 midterms, but we don’t know what the political environment will be like in November 2014. And exactly how long will the public stick with Obama’s unflinching demand for tax hikes for the rich as the effects of sequestration drag on?

Obama’s negotiating stance and tactics suggest he’s extremely convinced that going over the cliff, with the attendant double-dip recession, is a scenario where he wins politically. Maybe it’s worth seeing if that confidence is well-placed.

Look, whether roughly 51 percent of voters realize it or not, in November they effectively voted for another recession. Might as well get it over with.

Tags: Barack Obama , John Boehner , Campaign Advertising

New Romney Ad: Doesn’t America Deserve Better?


Team Romney runs an ad hitting President Obama over the Joe Soptic commercial from Priorities USA — is this because they think the ad has done damage to them, or is it because they think they can score some points by showcasing how far Obama has fallen from his “hope and change, no negative campaigning” pledges of 2008?

Ad details below:

AD FACTS: Script For “America Deserves Better”

VOICEOVER: “What does it say about a president’s character when his campaign tries to use the tragedy of a woman’s death for political gain?” VIDEO TEXT: “A President’s Character?”

VIDEO TEXT: “Scraping Bottom” · Chicago Tribune Headline: “Scraping Bottom” (Editorial, “Scraping Bottom,” Chicago Tribune, 8/9/12)

VIDEO TEXT: “Disgusting” · ABC News: “‘Disgusting’ Pro-Obama Ad Criticized By Democrat” (Steven Portnoy, “‘Disgusting’ Pro-Obama Ad Criticized By Democrat,” ABC News, 8/9/12)

VOICEOVER: “What does it say about a president’s character when he had his campaign raise money for the ad then stood by as his top aides were caught lying about it?”

VIDEO TEXT: “Obama Campaign Admits Knowing” · ABC News: “Obama Campaign Admits Knowing Story Behind Man In Super PAC Ad” (Mary Bruce, “Obama Campaign Admits Knowing Story Behind Man In Super PAC Ad,” ABC News, 8/9/12)

VIDEO TEXT: “Unfair Attack” · CBS News: “Due Diligence: An Unfair Attack On Mitt Romney” (Brian Montopoli, “Due Diligence: An Unfair Attack On Mitt Romney,” CBS News, 8/9/12)

VOICEOVER: “Doesn’t America deserve better than a president who will say or do anything to stay in power?”

VIDEO TEXT: “Doesn’t America Deserve Better?” MITT ROMNEY: “I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Campaign Advertising , Mitt Romney

Richmond Political Ads: 4,504 Negatives to 0 Positives


A fascinating look at how negative this presidential campaign is: “In Richmond, a battleground state media market that is seeing some of the heaviest advertising, not a single positive presidential campaign message ran on television from June 9 through June 22, according to Kantar. But attack ads ran 4,504 times.”

Cue the traditional wailing, but I think we can also point the finger at the electorate: if positive ads worked, campaigns would use them more frequently.

Tags: Campaign Advertising

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