[Dr. Aditor’s note: It is beyond dispute that no one – including myself – has noticed my five-year absence from this space. Then again, I was supposed to do seven, so I’m actually back early. Anyway, I figured I’d just pick up where I left off. Yo.]
Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag upon his return to the dispensary and here’s what poured out.
Dear Dr. Ads,
There I was, just minding my own business and reading the New York Times the other day when I came across this story.
A Billionaire Makes His Case: ‘I Don’t See Myself as Rich’
SAN FRANCISCO — Tom Steyer is a former hedge fund investor and a billionaire. Those things could be a liability for a man running for president as a progressive. But Mr. Steyer, who this month joined a field of — what is it now? — 24 people, argued this was a selling point.
“Now you know, I know everybody always describes me as being rich. That is not how I see myself,” he told an audience at a bookstore here Wednesday night. “But I can tell you this, the one thing it does give me is the right to say nobody owns me. I mean I will do exactly what I think is right.”
And all this time I thought a billion was real money. I must be wrong.
Tommy-Come-Lately, who represents the ATM wing of the Democratic Party, is a leading figure in the All Those Dollars and No Sense set.
First he spends two years and $50 million on his money-pit Need to Impeach fantasy.
Now he’s saying he’ll spend $100 million on a vanity run for president and is already up on broadcast networks with spots like this one.
He doesn’t see himself as rich? He’ll be a lot less once this election cycle is over.
[Aditor’s note: As you might – or more likely might not – have noticed, Dr. Ads has been (in)conspicuous by his absence over the past several months. We’d rather not get into the details; let’s just say he’s been under the care of an actual doctor. Yo.]
Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.
Dear Dr. Ads,
There I was, just minding my own business and reading Politico Playbook, when I came across this:
VIDEO DU JOUR – “Tom Steyer’s ads test the boundaries of the ‘bizarre,’” by Darren Goode: “Steyer is trying to sway national climate policy and the midterm elections with an ad campaign that is raising eyebrows among independent fact-checkers, some television stations, his political opponents and even a few allies — using an approach that strikes observers as anywhere from groundbreaking to downright bizarre. … [Chris] Lehane, who wrote much of the ads’ scripts, said they are born from creative sessions after Steyer’s team has identified its target audience and message.”
Have you seen these ads, Doc? I mean, I’m all for combatting climate change, but Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, eh?
– Al G.
Dear Al G.,
We’re talking about some nutty stuff, even for the Doc. Start out with this TV spot from Steyer’s NextGen Climate advocacy outfit attacking Iowa GOP Senate candidate Joni (The Castrator) Ernst.
Really? Is the average TV viewer gonna pay enough attention to that mishmash to get what it’s trying to say? We’re thinking not.
That ad is almost as strange as this spot NextGen ran last year attacking the Keystone XL Pipeline.
So how effective has Steyer’s climate police campaign been? The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel answered this way in her column last week.
A Climate Crusader’s Comeuppance
Billionaire Tom Steyer’s vow to make politicians toe the green line isn’t working out so well.
As political comedowns go, there may be few to compare to the humbling of Tom Steyer. Six months after the climate activist roared on the national political scene vowing $100 million to impose his agenda on this fall’s midterms, it would appear that this billionaire don’t hunt.
Remember the liberal huzzahs that greeted the February pledge? The New York Times gave Mr. Steyer the front page, heralding a coming “hard-edge campaign of attack ads” that would pressure officials to “enact climate change measures” and persuade voters to back a climate agenda. Democrats hailed him as their new power broker, crowing about a war chest that could rival the Koch brothers and even up the midterm election odds. Environmentalists welcomed a white knight who would finally align the party and public behind their priorities.
Or not. Mr. Steyer at an Aspen conference this week revealed that little if any of this is happening. The left is as split over energy as it has ever been; the public isn’t buying the climate line; and the hedge-fund-manager-turned-activist looks to be regrouping.
Strassel adds this about the current NextGen ad:
NextGen, which bragged in May that it would make climate a “wedge” issue in “political races,” couldn’t even bring itself to mention the environment in its first ad of the political season, against Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst. It instead hit her for supporting lower taxes.
Yeah, hit her like a Nerf ball. Our Rx for Tom Steyer: Find the NextGen of admakers.