Ratcheting Up the PA Ad War

Obama is airing an ad attacking Hillary's health care plan. Hillary now fires back. Here's the support for the statements in her ad.

I do think the ad takes it one negative too far. Rather than say:

He couldn't answer tough questions in the debate. So Barack Obama is making false charges against Hillary's health care plan.

I think she should have just opened with:

Barack Obama is making false charges against Hillary's health care plan.


Especially since she closed with:

Obama's attacks have been called "destructive and poisoning." There are more and more questions about Barack Obama. Instead of attacking, maybe he should answer them.

I'm afraid the "tough questions" remark may hit people the wrong way and seem like a cheap shot, particularly since it's not about health care plans. Any ad mavens or others out there want to weigh in on the strategy?

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    If you check her Youtube channel (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 04:51:31 PM EST
    she's got several new ads, at least one more of which seems intended for PA.

    I'm guessing this is in response to the robocalls and mailers. I doubt either will move many votes, frankly.

    I was in advertising (5.00 / 11) (#3)
    by Kathy on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 04:56:06 PM EST
    for about ten years.  I think the "tough questions" part will appeal to key PA demographics, most of whom will have seen the fall-out from the debate, but not the debate itself.  It will remind them that he could not take the heat, which is how the handful of local news sources I found online seemed to report it.  If the defeats of Gore and Kerry showed us one thing, it's that voters want to see a fighter.

    The images in the ad are beautiful and heart-wrenching, though.  Watch it with the sound off, which is how most people will see it (advertising 101-the visuals matter the most): "Obama on the defensive"  "Obama on the attack"  cut in with pics of Clinton with a child-looking very maternal-and an elderly woman-looking very concerned.

    I have felt for a while that the biggest mistake Obama's ads make is they show too much of him in the crowd smiling and being the center of attention.  With Clinton in this ad, you see her always to the side, with the "voter" as the center of attention.  She's close to them, not aloof.  These don't look like photo ops where she's always smiling at the camera.

    It's subtle, but people pick up on it.

    I have to admit (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 04:59:20 PM EST
    that I really like the music Hillary's shop uses: both in the positive and negative ads.

    the music has great tension to it (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Kathy on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:02:01 PM EST
    not the typical music you hear in political ads.  It somehow manages to be feminine, yet strong.  Strings do that, though.

    The positive music (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:04:12 PM EST
    is almost a fanfare. The negative music uses piano pretty effectively. It lets them be negative without seeming harsh.

    I think the upbeat music really (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by leis on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:25:17 PM EST
    takes the sting out of what she is saying.  My point being; it may be a negative ad but you don't get that feeling watching it. I think it's very clever.  But, I too am biased.

    Maybe a mark of Roy Spence (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by RalphB on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 06:05:13 PM EST
    co-founder of GSD&M, who joined her campaign as the ad guru.  He's done some really good work, the SW Airlines "You are now free to fly around the country" and the "Don't mess with Texas" anti-litter campaigns come to mind.  Somehow his ads don't really feel like typical ads.

    even Kos who has met Hillary always says (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by thereyougo on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:16:45 PM EST
    she's very likable and she is,comes acrdoss as warm and smart most of all, just a first class candidate afaic. I don't know where people get she's hated and no one can answer why.

    Kos Said He Doesn't Think of Hillary As A Dem (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:41:59 PM EST
    ...and his site is full of hate for Hillary.

    wow, that is a great analysis (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by dotcommodity on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:08:46 PM EST
    Thanks for lifting my heart with your analysis (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by feet on earth on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:49:32 PM EST
    Before coming here I came across a horrifying BO's ad called Vote Different at youtube (I am new here, so you may have seen already, if so, forgive me).  My heart was heavy, my feminism deeply offended,  the class analyses shown disturbing.
    Thanks form a long time lurker

    welcome (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:56:04 PM EST
    we're glad to have you.

    I noticed the difference in their ads (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:52:37 PM EST
    as the same that you did. How they are viewed. She's generally more one with the voter. Even the Gov and Mayor clips where they are speaking to you in one on one fashion work better and have more warmth than the Obama ones. Her Hispanic ad works well, imo. She sits down with the voters, he doesn't.

    Just saw that he released another negative one on her today aside from the health care. Ahhh, the 'new politics' of unity . . .


    I think its an effective ad (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by ajain on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:01:21 PM EST
    Because he has actually also released another ad in which he sharply smears her character and integrity.  And so I think her response is more than appropriate. In fact, I think its great. He had a pitiful performance, why not capitalize on it.

    There is something really off (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by nycstray on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:56:34 PM EST
    when the 'New Type of Politician' is running a smear ad on her character and integrity. I was like, "huh? what about yours there Mister?!"

    How many days has he been whining and smearing her now?


    Tell that to (none / 0) (#30)
    by mg7505 on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 07:09:02 PM EST
    Maureen Dowd. Her column is now an undignified excuse to make snide, hateful attacks on Hillary while gushing over Obama. Of course every time Obama attacks someone, she blames it on Hillary.

    Ain't that so? (none / 0) (#33)
    by rghojai on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 08:37:13 PM EST
    Never felt a ton of enthusiasm for MD, but in recent times, relative to HRC/BO stuff and otherwise, her work's struck me as poor. "Work" may have been the wrong word to use; she seems ever more one-note in her style and her stuff feels like she's mailing it in, dashing off weak efforts.

    (I'm far from 'round the bend for HRC, have seen a good measure of columns critiquing her in which the writer made what struck me as fair/good points... though not so with MD.)


    I like it (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:01:45 PM EST
    But I don't know any more about advertising stuff than anyone else.  And I certainly wouldn't presume to know how folks in the great state of PA would respond.

    Why I like though is, well, everyone knows I think Obama has been poisoning the campaign from day 1.  With things like D-punjab (which he was called on) and things like Lincoln Bedroom.

    So.  As a Clinton loyalist I'm glad the Clinton campaign is addressing the Obama negativity campaign more assertively.

    Like I said, what do I know, but it could have happened even sooner in my opinion.

    Here in PA... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:45:09 PM EST
    Thanks for showing this ad. I had not seen it and I think it was very well done. It addressed his negativity and yet I did not see it in a negative term. I saw it as positive and if older older people see it or have loved ones in nursing homes, they will feel that she includes them in her plans. It appeals to the older demographics and also points out she is fighting back against his attacks. I like it. And she looks good in yellow too. Heh.

    PA (none / 0) (#31)
    by chrisvee on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 07:10:33 PM EST
    Everyone I know (Republicans, independents, Clinton supporters, and Obama supporters alike) are really sick of the ads regardless of content.  I've heard some really negative remarks from friends about the number of Obama ads (and these aren't diehard Clinton supporters but mostly people who are leaners, undecideds, etc).  The phone calls are also getting ridiculous.  Caller ID is a blessing.  We're also getting something in the range of four mailers a day, too.

    The Ad Is MILD! (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by JoeCHI on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:02:37 PM EST
    But then, I'm one of those (increasingly rare) Democrats who thinks that this overly-sensitive and PC approach to campaigning is a bunch of effete and ineffectual bunk!

    I'm with you on that (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by angie on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:21:48 PM EST
    of course, I'm from NOLA so I know from "down in the gutter" politics.

    Every voter in PA (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by andgarden on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:27:21 PM EST
    has seen negative ads. We're a frickin swing state!

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by LCaution on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:03:28 PM EST
    At least partly because that's how the media will spin it.  

    The other partly? I guess it's simply that I dislike that kind of attack.  I prefer specifics, for ex: Obama's plan leaves 15 million uninsured or - to make it a bit tougher - Obama's plan leaves 15 million uninsured because he doesn't fully understand the economic realities of a national health care system.  (The latter is an indirect way of saying he doesn't know what he's talking about.)

    right ; how about (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by dotcommodity on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:14:37 PM EST
    an ad saying ...does Obama think Social Security should be optional?

    Even Edwards Appreciates Hillary's Plan (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:16:12 PM EST

    That is because she (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by TomP on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 07:22:44 PM EST
    essentially adopted the Edwards plan.

    That plan is a road to single payer.  Meanwhile, Obama demonizes universal health care.  Not good


    The use of "poisoning" (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by lilburro on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:39:57 PM EST
    is clever in an ad about healthcare, I think.  

    As a former PR person, (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:44:16 PM EST
    I like it!

    Not an ad maven, but (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by eleanora on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:55:56 PM EST
    Hillary has to point out Senator Obama's poor debate performance when it came to substantial policy issues, because the media and blogs won't do it for her. They're too busy defending or being furious at the first half of the debate to even address his rambling, confusing answers in the second half.

    If she were a man, the 'tough questions' (none / 0) (#1)
    by catfish on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 04:49:12 PM EST
    line would be OK.

    What I see is a tenderness in Obama. Tough questions make people upset because he's delicate. So he does appear to lash out after he's challenged.

    But I'm biased.

    and I like the 'can't answer tough questions' (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by dotcommodity on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:12:44 PM EST
    but then I'm already a Clinton supporter, so to me that nails it (along with can't justify policy etc).

    (Of course these ads will be trying to change undecideds who fall between us two...)



    Tenderness, No.... Arrogance, yes. (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 05:45:41 PM EST
    Do you mean when he was feeding that calf?  Because other than that, I have never thought of Obama as a man of compassion or tenderness, and his wife, even less.

    Tender as in thin-skinned (none / 0) (#34)
    by catfish on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:26:02 AM EST
    tender when poked.

    No, I don't see much curiosity in him either.