25 August 2012

Romney Bunch Attack Ad Blows It

The other day while campaigning in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, the place where he was born and raised (thank you), presumptive Republican Presidential nominee former Governor Mitt Romney (R-M) joking about birth certificates.

The Obama campaign went nuts, charging that the Romney campaign was engaging in gutter politics. Of course this ignores the Obama campaign’s alluvia of false characterizations towards their opponent of felonious tax cheating, vulture capitalism, killing laid off workers with cancer (even though Romney had left Bain), supposed animal abuse a score of years ago and unreported bulling from nearly 50 years ago at Cranbrook school. On top of that, not only had President Obama made his own jokes about his birth certificate controversy (even at official state functions), the Obama 2012 campaign sold “Made in the USA” tee shirts mocking the birther allegations. 

Trying to capitalized on Romney’s supposed birther gaffe, the DNC rapid response team produced “The Romney Bunch” attack ad.The DNC tried to concoct a stew of stingers, from birtherism to the war on women, class warfare, ending Medicare, union busting, imposing religion, and cutting education.

Most telling, the Rapid Response video attacked former four term Democrat Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL 7th) as being in it for himself, a subtle to slam one of then candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) nominating speakers at the 2008 Democrat National Convention in Denver. It is a kinder and gentler pariah status than the epithets thrown at other conservative Blacks who have escaped the liberal plantation.

 Although the “Romney Bunch” had a clever concept and was a Rapid Response piece, it truly was a poor quality, especially the tinny music and echo filled vocals. It may be a harbinger of the dearth of campaign funds that Obama 2012 has on hand. The problem with the poor execution of the Brady Bunch is that the filk was not catchy enough to stand on its own, but the music still evoked the emotions of the original work. That does not work to Obama’s advantage.

 Surely the Brady Bunch theme of a big family was a sucker punch jab against Mormons, who typically have big families. This is where the Obama Rapid Response Team was too clever by half.  People will not immediately think of the parody Brady Bunch films in the 1990s which trashed the hokey, out of touch middle class values. Instead, most people fondly remember the Brady Bunch as Boomer television as  days of innocence and more traditional values co-existing in a hip, living color, polyester age. Talk about reinforcing the Romney brand. Oops.

Maybe the Obama Campaign should send Vice President Joe Biden to Tampa  to lead the Truth Squad in Tampa. That will be fun.


Shaun said...

Amazing politicians would rather demonize each other than actually campaign. I’ve been tired of attack ads for a while, and they are just getting worse. It seems like every election season I am happier each year that I work nights at Dish and don’t have time to watch live television. There has to be a better way to go about this than making each candidate look like the devil, but it won’t change, so I just don’t watch it. I still watch the primetime shows that I love, but with the Autohop feature built into the Hopper I can simply tell it to skip the commercials at the beginning of playback and I don’t have to watch one single negative Nelly attack ad.

El Barroco said...

@Shaun Aren't DVRs amazing! I had Replay TV which Hollywood put out of business as it used sound to skip commercials. There was a way to modify it so you could skip programming, which was useful for watching Super Bowl ads without the nuisance of football ;-) I don't know that I'd want to pay an extra $10 a month for the "Hopper". The fast forward button works pretty well too.

As for negative ads, there is a cognitive and political use for comparison advertising. But if it doesn't have truthfulness to it, it works against the mudslinger as well as the intended victim. That's why it's funny that Obama 2012 has dumped $100 million into "Forward" negative local ads during the summer which did nothing to help him.