Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ad Nauseum

I've seen two interesting ads for Hillary Clinton in the past few days. Let's take a look:

The first ad comes from the Clinton campaign itself. It's one of those ludicrous "scare" ads that tells you, if you vote for the candidate's opponent, it's most likely your children will die, possibly with their insides on the outside. Or not. We're not sure exactly how your children will be brutally murdered should you vote for our opponent, we just know it is definitely going to happen.

This strikes me as a very Cold War kind of ad. Hillary's the only one we can trust to decide in the middle of the night if we should bomb the Russians. Seems like, in a modern context, most of these kind of emergency, middle-of-the-night decisions kind of decide themselves.

"We've got word terrorists are going to blow up New York!"

"Stop them!"

John Dickerson from Slate asked the obvious question to Hillary's campaign staff the next day: why, exactly, would Clinton be a better person to answer that 3 am phone call than Obama? (More precisely, he asks when Clinton was tested and had to make a major foreign policy decision.) They had no good answer.

I'm thinking, much like the Republicans in 2006 and Rudy Giuliani up until pretty recently, Clinton thinks she can scare people into voting for her. It hasn't really been working in a while. Mercifully, it seems like years of fearmongering by Bush et. al. (and, to be honest, a lot of Democrats, too) have resulted in a populace that's, for the moment, immune to such tactics. I certainly don't think this will last forever, and another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would most likely nip it in the bud, but it appears to be the state in which Obama and Clinton are presently campaigning.

Again, Clinton seems to feel that stressing the same point she's been making over and over again ("I'm more qualified and experienced than Obama on foreign policy") more forcefully will suddenly make voters agree with her, but it's just unrealistic. This ad reminds me of something ridiculous the Romney campaign would come up with. That's not a compliment.

The second ad, made by Jack Nicholson on Hillary's behalf, fares much better:

You've got to love that they went with that Few Good Men "woman you have to salute" quote. Jack rules.

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