So How Did the Democrats Do With Those ‘Sabotage Ads’ Touting GOP Crazies?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

A couple of weeks ago you wrote about the trend by Democrats to meddle in GOP primaries by boosting the most radical candidates, presumably because they’d be easier to beat in a general election.

You also wrote this: “The Doc will make some house calls at the end of the month to determine the health of those Democratic investments. And prescribe condolences accordingly.”

So, what’s up, Doc?

– MAGAfier

Dear Mf,

Much the same as the Democratic saboteurs achieved mixed results in earlier primaries, their Tuesday tally was decidedly uneven, as the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips noted in a lively roundup.

Start with the Illinois GOP gubernatorial bakeoff.

Some believed that, with 2022 looking tough for Democrats, Republicans could take the governor’s mansion in deep blue Illinois.

That got a lot more difficult after Tuesday’s Republican primary. Voters nominated conservative firebrand state Sen. Darren Bailey over a more traditional Republican candidate to take on Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) in November. Democrats are thrilled about this. Bailey wants to ban abortion in the state (except in cases where the woman’s life is in danger) and has described Chicago as “a crime-ridden, corrupt, dysfunctional hellhole.” He once tried to eject the city from the state, and he has former president Donald Trump’s endorsement.

Bailey also had $30 million worth of Pritzker and Democratic Governors Association advertising to pump him up.

Then again, the opponent Pritzker really did not want to face – Black, moderate, Aurora mayor Richard Irvin – ran a campaign grubstaked to the tune of $50 million by hedge-fund manager Kenneth Griffin.

So hold the violins, yeah?

Here’s the tally, via Ballotpedia.

Really? Fifty million bucks bought a third-place finish for Irvin?

All those dollars and no sense.

Then there’s the GOP gubernatorial race in Colorado, into which the Democratic Governors Association also stuck its nose, running an ad campaign with $1.5 million that the DGA laundered through a couple of PACs.

That was more money down the drain, as Amber Phillips noted in her WaPo piece: “Heidi Ganahl — as a University of Colorado regent, the state’s lone Republican elected statewide — defeated Greg Lopez.”

Which is to say, the moderate beat the MAGAt once again.

Ballotpedia has the numbers.

And chalk up one more for the moderates, this time in Colorado’s GOP U.S. Senate primary, which Axios’s Sophia Cai previewed this way.

In Colorado, a new Democratic super PAC cut a TV ad boosting far-right, election-denying state Rep. Ron Hanks in the June 28 GOP primary to decide who will take on Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

The group has reserved at least $1.49 million in TV ad slots across Colorado over the next few weeks.

Hanks’ moderate Republican rival Joe O’Dea accused Democrats of “hijacking the Republican nomination for an unserious candidate who has zero chance of winning.”

Here’s how WaPo’s Amber Phillips post-mortemed it: “Republicans nominated a more moderate Republican, businessman Joe O’Dea, to challenge Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D) in November. (Democrats had spent millions trying to get a far-right state representative to win the nomination.)”

Here’s the Ballotpedia ballot results.

So, for those of you keeping score at home, the moderates beat the MAGAts (and the Dimocrats) two-to-one this past Tuesday.

Your big foam hand goes here.

What’s With the ‘I’m Not a Racist’ Ads in Ohio’s Republican Senate Primary?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was the other day, minding my own business and reading Politico’s Playbook PM, when I came across this item.

AD WARS — In the Ohio GOP Senate primary, one of the leading issues is fighting against being called “racist.” That’s the takeaway from two new ads released by JOSH MANDEL and J.D. VANCE, who both take umbrage at the criticism, as NBC’s Henry Gomez notes. Mandel shot his ad from the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., invoking Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., while Vance linked his own views on the border to his family’s experience with addiction.

Here’s the first tweet Gomez posted, about Vance’s ad.

And here’s the follow-up about Mandel’s ad.

What’s next, Doc – candidates saying “I’m not a Martian” in their ads?

– Buckeye Bill

Dear Buckeye,

Well for one thing, no one has yet accused Mandel and Vance of being a Martian, although both of them do seem like they’re from another planet. But that’s beside the point. The point actually is that each of them has been called a racist, which is what triggered these ads.

Let’s start with Mandel’s spot, which is titled Equality and begins with an Ohio woman saying “critical race theory is crap.”

The first kerfuffle generated by the ad came from the King family, which basically told Mandel to keep Martin’s name out of his mouth. The second kerfuffle was occasioned by this image from the spot.

The immediate reaction went something like this: Did Josh Mandel edit his face onto a Black Marine in his new U.S. Senate ad? As Haley BeMiller reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the answer is no.

The ad shows several photos of Mandel during his time in Iraq, including one of him and a group of Black Marines. In that image, Mandel’s hands appear darker than the rest of his skin, prompting allegations on social media that the campaign edited his face onto a different body.

Mandel’s campaign disputed the claims and provided a copy of the original photo to USA TODAY Network Ohio, which shows his hand and skin tone matching . . .

A photo editor for USA TODAY Network Ohio examined a copy of the original photo and said it did not readily appear to be digitally altered.

So that’s one good thing you can say about Josh Mandel. Maybe the only good thing, but let’s not get technical about it.

Then there’s JD Vance, celebrated author of the bestselling Hillbilly Elegy (interesting book, awful movie), who morphed from a Trump critic in 2016 to a full-fledged MAGAt for the purposes of this campaign.

Here’s Vance’s current TV spot.

And here’s Vance’s current problem, as detailed by Fidel Martinez in the Los Angeles Times.

“Five years ago, Vance was eloquently decoding Donald Trump supporters for liberal elites, while lamenting the rise of Trump himself,” wrote Simon van Zuylen-Wood in a January profile published in the Washington Post Magazine.

Now Vance is running for Senate in Ohio, a state the former president comfortably won in 2016 and 2020, and has desperately tried to walk back his past criticism of Trump.

“Look, I mean, all of us say stupid things and I happened to say stupid things very publicly,” he said at a debate in March.

Vance hasn’t just apologized. He has gone full Trump.

Full Trump, of course, entails never telling the truth when a lie better suits your purposes. “This issue is personal,” Vance says in the spot. “I nearly lost my mother to the poison coming across our border.”

But, as Martinez notes, “it’s worth pointing out that Vance famously recounts in his memoir that his mom would steal her patients’ painkillers while working as a nurse. But sure, let’s blame it on the Mexicans.”

Right. All the kids are doing it.

The Doc’s diagnosis: This campaign will turn out to be JD Vance’s Hillbilly Eulogy.

How Can You Tell If Sarah Huckabee Sanders Is Lying in Her Campaign Ads?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads.

There I was, minding my own business and scrolling through Punchbowl News AM when I came across this item in the newsletter’s Tally section, which tracks the latest 2022 campaign ads.

Arkansas GOP gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders compares the White House press corps to her unruly children and takes a shot at CNN in her latest ad.

“As White House press secretary, I had to say no. A lot,” Sanders says in the ad. “Being a mom to young kids was the perfect training.”

Sanders also pledges to oppose President Joe Biden’s “radical” agenda and advocates for “good schools, lower taxes and higher-paying jobs.” Huckabee Sanders will very likely be the next governor of Arkansas, so we’re keeping a close eye on how she positions herself.

To be honest, Doc, I didn’t know much of anything about Huckabee Sanders, but when I Googled her, this 2019 Vanity Fair piece by Bess Levin – headline: “As Sarah Sanders Signs Off, A Look Back At Her Biggest Lies” – popped up. Here’s a representative sample.

So I gotta ask, Doc – how do we know if Huckabee Sanders is lying in her campaign ads?

– Huckaboo

Dear Huckaboo,

It’s tempting, of course, to answer your question, “because her lips are moving.” At least that was the case when Huckabee Sanders was the mouthpiece for the Capo di Tutti Liars, Donald J. Trump, as you astutely noted.

But let’s take a step back and look at her latest TV spot.

Here’s the funny thing: Huckabee Sanders compares the White House press corps to a bunch of rambunctious kids, but in reality it’s she who fits the age-old juvenile stereotype: Kids who lie about what they’ve done to avoid the consequences.

She even lies about lying, as Scott Martelle noted in this 2019 Los Angeles Times op-ed.

Soup to nuts graf:

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has never found a fact she couldn’t twist, denied Friday morning that there’s a culture of lying at the White House.

The Doc’s diagnosis: Caveat videntium when it comes to any Sarah Hucksterbee Sanders ad in her quest for the Arkansas corner office.

Why Is a U.S. Senate Candidate Burning the Confederate Flag and a Blunt in His Ads?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading the Washington Post when I came across this piece by Julian Mark.

A U.S. Senate candidate smoked marijuana in his last campaign ad. This time, he burned a Confederate flag.

Last month, Gary Chambers drew attention for sparking up a marijuana blunt in a political campaign ad. Now the Democrat from Louisiana is getting attention for sparking up something else: a Confederate flag.

The new ad shows Chambers, who’s running for U.S. Senate, dousing the flag in gasoline in slow motion and setting it ablaze as he denounces what he describes as systemic inequality among Black Americans and argues that “remnants of the Confederacy remain.”

“The attacks against Black people — our right to vote and participate in this democracy — are methodical,” Chamber says in the one-minute video released Wednesday, adding: “Our system isn’t broken; it’s designed to do exactly what it’s doing, which is producing measurable inequity.”

What the heck, Doc – isn’t the U.S. Senate supposed to be the world’s greatest deliberative body, not its most flammable?

– Burn Noticing

Dear Burn,

Let’s look at those two ads, shall we?

Here’s the one Chambers released last month, which runs for 37 seconds and notes that every 37 seconds someone is arrested for possession of marijuana.

 

 

According to the Post, that video has racked up 6.7 million views on Twitter.

Two days ago Chambers released Scars and Bars, which quickly got one million views on Twitter and over 300,000 looks on YouTube.

 

 

That’s some crazy-pants stuff for a U.S. Senate race, but maybe that’s what it takes for a badass Black candidate to get any traction in Louisiana, a state so backward its unofficial slogan is “Thank God for Mississippi.”

(To be sure graf goes here)

To be sure, the Doc has roughly the same chance of beating incumbent Sen. John N. Kennedy (R-Who Else Ken I Insult) as Gary Chambers does.

But it will be a helluva lot more fun watching Chambers try to take that peckerhead down than anything the Doc might concoct.

Stay tuned for further details.

What’s Up with That French-Bashing Cadillac Spot?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

So there I was, watching television and minding my own business, when this Cadillac commercial popped up.

 

 

Narrator: “Why do we work so hard? . . . Other countries, they work, they stroll home, they stop by the café, they take August off. Off. Why aren’t you like that? Why aren’t we like that? Because we’re crazy driven hard-working believers, that’s why.”

Really? More French-bashing, Doc?

Pass the Freedom Fries, oui?

– Hollande Daze

Dear Hollande Daze,

The Doc feels your pain. (We love those baguette thingies, which are the greatest empty calories ever created.) But you should know that not every American is ugly.

From Ad Age:

The spot for the new Cadillac ELR has provoked extreme reactions since its debut during NBC’s broadcast of the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 1.26.06 AM

Fans on the political right see “Poolside” as an unapologetic ode to American values. Critics on the political left see it as Ugly American chest thumping at its worst. During a time when Americans are working harder and longer for less money, others question the spot’s perceived workaholic message.

Others such as Washington Post contributor Brigid Schulte, who “‘groaned’ at the sight of a ‘middle-aged white guy’ extolling the ‘virtues of hard work, American style,’ while strolling around his fancy house, pool and $75,000 electric car.”

Not to mention the reaction of the average French person, as detailed in this eye-opening Gerry Haden piece on PRI’s The World.

Cadillac’s viral ad glorifies America’s crazy work ethic — but my French in-laws don’t buy it

By now, you may have seen the TV ad for Cadillac that’s gone viral. It’s the one where an American guy starts out questioning how hard he works, then indirectly thumbs his nose at Europeans and their short work weeks and long summer vacations.

His conclusion: that America is just the best, and the best buy Caddies.

But my French in-laws don’t buy the bluster.

Neither does the old Doc.

Yo.

 

What’s Up with the ‘Reform Government Surveillance’ Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I don’t read the New York Times much (I’m a Washington Post kind of guy), but I happened upon Monday’s edition and here’s what I saw.

 

Picture 3

 

That’s some Murderers’ Row, eh? But don’t you think there’s a big name missing? I’m talking about a company that collects mountains of information the government could find useful in determining what people might do next, or what like-minded people already have done.

See where I’m headed here, Doc?

– Jeff B

Dear Jeff B,

The Doc feels your pain. We’ve never gotten over losing the Acting Surgeon General gig to Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., who’s a total hack.

Still, we’re not really sure you fit into the picture painted by Monday’s, er, Washington Post.

Big tech companies lash out at government snooping

NSA Surveillance-Tech.JPEG-0bd40

WASHINGTON — Silicon Valley is escalating pressure on President Barack Obama to curb the U.S. government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry’s financial livelihood.

A coalition that includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft lashed out in an open letter printed Monday in major newspapers and a new website, http://reformgovernmentsurveillance.com .

Twitter Inc., LinkedIn Corp. and AOL Inc. joined Google Inc., Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the push for tighter controls over electronic espionage. The group is immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.

Oh, wait – you’re also “immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.”

But you’ve been marginalized like some Mom ‘n’ Pop-Up site.

Hah!

Anyway, the bottom line is this: The tech giants are urging the government to stop glomming onto the megadata they mine.

They want it all for themselves.

Yo.