Bush Ad Part 2: Critique
The first post on this subject dealt with Kerry's dishonest reaction to the Bush/Hitler ad. So I get emails asking if I really thought the ad was good enough to defend. I wasn't defending the ad. In fact, I said I didn't like it. I was merely responding to Kerry's response to it. However, I do feel the ad needs critiquing. I've never been a big fan of negative campaign ads. And let's be honest; the Bush is, despite its theme of Kerry supporters being negative while Bush stays optimistic, is, in the end, a negative ad. Campaign ads should focus on the person running for office. They should not focus on opponents. Whenever an candidate issues an ad - be it a presidential race right down to your local school board - that highlights how bad his/her opponent is, it makes me think that the candidate's campaign team cannot present their candidate in a positive light. Why would you spend money to say how bad your opponent is when that money would be better spent telling everyone how wonderful you are? Say we have Candidate A and Candidate B. Candidate A's ad should note even mention B. If Candidate A is running on a theme of positivity and optimism, then that's what the ad should reflect, not Candidate B's negativity. Extoll your own virtues. Share your hopes and dreams for your constituents and tell us how you are going to realize those hopes. Show us your smile, your warm personality. Don't show us Candidate B's scowl. Run on your record. Don't run on your opponent's surliness. Back to the Bush ad: It does little to show me why I should vote for Bush. Using images of Kerry's supporters berating Bush only tells me that Kerry's supporters hate Bush. We know that already. It lends nothing to new to the campaign. And, as if those images of Michael Moore and Al Gore weren't enough, the Hitler imagery is a bit disconcerting. I don't see what this ad accomplishes, except to hammer down an idea that's already beened hammered to death. The ad could be fixed in a few ways. Cut the Hitler images. Splice the images of Kerry supporters with those of Bush supporters saying and doing positive things. After the image of Kerry, show one of Bush being positive and optimistic. A smile on top of some rousing music isn't enough. Show me the money. Let me see Bush being positive right after you show Kerry being negative. Better yet, forget all the negativity. If you want to run a positive and optimistic campaing, can the ads that only serve to show how "bad" the other side is. Don't show the other side at all. Let's see a montage of Bush's positive messages to this country. Let's see him talking about resolve, democracy, peace and prosperity. Let's see him smilikng and shaking hands and being warmy greeted by crowds. Show him giving hope. Show him telling us that he's going to help our dreams be realized. The best ad would be that which never mentioned Kerry or his supporters at all. A candidate should be able to wage a campaign by just showing what he's done and what he's going to do. Don't tell me what Candidate B hasn't done or won't do. Tell me what you are going to do for me. Tell me why I should vote for you, not why I shouldn't vote for the other guy. The fence sitters - and there are plenty of them in this election - will not be swayed by negativity. They will be won over with optimism and postiive messages. The ad gets a D.