Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

First, here is the latest ad, entitled "Tough," from Senator Menendez. It is on the air in all markets in New Jersey:

This is a pretty good ad. Not only does it pick a fight with the Bush administration, it actually details a fight that Senator Menendez picked and won. This is a good tactic for a Democratic incumbent. Instead of trying to claim that things are going great, ala Stabenow, it points to a very specific moment when one of Bush's many bad policies were stopped. It also does a good job of connecting homeland security to jobs, something which should play well in New Jersey. On the negative side, it is a little strange that the commercial opens to quietly, and instead of talking about Iraq it talks about "homeland security." That is a very Republican way of talking about things.

Next, we have netroots endorsed Joe Sestak with his introductory bio ad:

First things first--this ad prominently states that Joe Sestak is a Democrat, which is desperately needed in more commercials. (I actually brought that up with President Clinton yesterday, arguing that we were not going to trick people into accidentally voting for a Democratic Congress). The ad quickly lays out Sestak's extremely impressive resume, which speaks for itself and should go over well with voters. After that, it quickly moves into two issue areas, in very cullet point type fashion, indicating that affordable health care is his top priority and that he opposes Bush's policies in Iraq. I am not sure if that part of the ad works as well for me, simply because both ideas are glossed over so quickly. Also, is "opposing" Bush's policies in Iraq enough? The ad isn't bad, but suffers from a similar problem to Patrick Murphy's ads: trying to do too much in one shot. Maybe it is the local focus, but I still have to believe it will work well.

Finally, we have another netroots endorsed candidate, Linda Stender, in NJ-07:

The ad focuses entirely on choice, and asks the question that I think more people should be asking: do people who want to outlaw abortion also want to throw women who have them in jail? It is a good questiont hat puts people on the defensive.

The ad is strong in that it talks to real women in New Jersey, and speaks mainly in their own words. The problems I have with the ad include the interviewer being male, and that it doesn't come right out and say that Mike Ferguson wants to throw women who have abortions in jail. Instead it only asks the question.

I also wonder about the effectiveness of running a House campaign against a Republican incumbent focused on choice (of course, she may have other ads too). I don't that issue is something that is close to the top of the list on voters minds this year. I certainly have not seen defending reproductive rights ever appear on any list of top priorities facing the country according to voters this year. I don't think that anything is going to swing this election except for Iraq, Iraq and Iraq. This ad could work as part of a more wide-ranging ad campaign that would include tough language on Iraq, as I also think it could work in a Democratic primary when little else separates the candidates, but I have a very hard time believing that this will swing the NJ-07 in our favor.

Tags: Adwatch, Bob Menendez, Joe Sestak, Linda Stender, NJ-07, NJ-Sen, pa-07 (all tags)



Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

You know, I think that the way Menendez uses the phrase 'Homeland Security' actually hits the spot quite nicely. He didn't say something like 'In Congress, I voted for x to strengthen our Homeland Security.' He seemed to be rather forcefully redefining this thing that George Bush calls 'Homeland Security.' His tone hit me like 'Hello?! That's not what Homeland Security is! This is!'

If you ask me, his ad is very rhetorically crafty.

by b1oody8romance7 2006-09-13 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

Yeah, I don't buy this notion that Democrats can't talk about Homeland Security. It's important, and we can do it better than the Republicans. Why not mention that?

by bluenc 2006-09-13 09:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

It depends on the activity of the Congressmen. Is Ferguson a one-trick pony, who gives lots of speeches on his anti-choice stance? Or is it just a check box. If it's the former, than he can be painted into a corner a la Marilyn Musgrave.

by niq 2006-09-13 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

Hey Chris,

As a follow up from the Maryland scandals I posted on earlier today.

An update on diebold machine problems.

From princeton no less

Great summary here 60913-7735.html

These problem are systemic and are beyond fixing.

The machines should be pulled from every state.
The ambitiuous may want to start a class action suit against Diebold force them to pay damages for inflicting such terrible systems on the public. Not to mention the condemnation deserved by public officials who have endorsed these solutions.

You may notice also that princeton is also a hotbed of tech-activism, warning us about the failures of DRM and other non-progressive "innovations". You guys should think about working closer with these guys.

by smacfarl 2006-09-13 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

I totally disagree with you Matt.  In the choice ad, this candidate takes the Republicans to the mat.  She says, look, Republicans want to outlaw abortion and send you to jail.  They want to take away your rights and lock your ass in a gulag.  

Do you want to stand for that?

That's balls.  That's in your face, I'm not ashamed of my Progressive credentials and you can kiss my ass, I'm a Democrat, I'm a Progressive, and Republicans are all neocon, immoral, lying assholes.  That's what that is.

by Robert P 2006-09-13 02:47PM | 0 recs
and another thing about choice issue

I agree with Robert P, but I want to add that as a woman, I particularly like the Stender ad. I don't care what opinion polls say--the choice issue is more salient for women now than it has been for many years.

The South Dakota law got huge play in both the mainstream media and some branches of the women's media (e.g. Glamour magazine). I don't read women's magazines often, but friends have told me about several articles that have appeared during the past year about the war on choice, the war on contraception (Plan B, pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control).

Alito may not be a household name, but there is growing awareness among young women that Bush has put a bunch of people in charge who want abortion to be illegal.

Putting this issue front and center in a tv ad is called "priming"--you talk more about an issue (and get the media to talk more about that issue), in order to raise the salience of that issue with voters. Especially with young women, who vote Democrat when they vote, but are not the most reliable voters in an off-presidential year.

Matt, remember the expression, "When women vote, Democrats win."

by desmoinesdem 2006-09-13 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: and another thing about choice issue

I still think this phrase would collect more votes:

"When Democrats vote, women win."

by nathan 2006-09-14 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

I live in the District and Linda Stender's ads and mailings have been very good.  Ferguson's ads are entirely, ENTIRELY, on the play of "Stender/big Spender."  His ads are idiotic.

Yes, I also like that this ad is very direct.  I hate the "safe, legal and rare" Bill Clinton crap line about this issue.  Its a Constitutional right and Democrats want to keep it a Constitutional right.  No one says "safe, legal and rare" about other Constitutional rights and IMO, the Clinton phrase intentionally demeaned women.  It was a "macaca" kind of thing, in fact.

by Rowena 2006-09-13 07:45PM | 0 recs
So on Iraq messaging

"Withdrawal" or "redeployment" is overly specific, but "opposes Bush's policies" isn't specific enough?  And "will demand accountability" is just right?  

But I agree this ad is pretty good, but it tries to do too many things.

Right now in here in CA, there are 2 good ads up on TV.  The first is from the Republicans, and it makes the case that Angelides will raise taxes.  The second is from the Democrats, and it makes the case that Schwarzenegger supports Bush and the Bush agenda.  

One-issue ads are just better.  I would think that the theme of this Sestak ad should be "I served in the Navy for 31 years, and I know that George Bush screwed the pooch in Iraq.  I will demand that he be held accountable for his mistakes, and insure that we move toward a smarter and more effective approach to Iraq."  Of course, he probably shouldn't say "screwed the pooch" but you get my drift."  

When healthcare comes up, I said "healthcare?"  

by bosdcla14 2006-09-13 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

Ads are my favorite things in the world.

In my opinion, I think the best is Linda Stender's.  It's hard hitting, it's "in your face," and it really calls out his super-extreme view on this issue.  Being a native of NJ-12, I can tell you that people in New Jersey, especially mothers and their daughters, would really be horrified to find out that this is the person that's supposed to be representing them.

I don't think we really know our congresspersons, and I think this illustrates that and executes it quite effectively.  I also don't think that I have a problem with the male voice, because i think that men should share this outrage.  However, I think that they really should have blended Stender a bit more smoothly.  This is an extremely personal ad.  She seems out of place.  

by Brad Levinson 2006-09-13 03:08PM | 0 recs
I like the NJ ad

Well, first of all, I think it brings up an important issue: Homeland Security. It specifically explains where the Bush administration has failed. My one regret is that Menendez's ad DOES NOT mention the fact that many first responders are underfunded and that tbe NJ/NY area has not gotten its fair share of HLS funding. He also doesn't mention the health problems that have afflicted many of the firemen, law enforcement, and other volunteers who assisted that day.

As for Iraq that's probably a seperate ad. So I wouldn't get angry that this ad doesn't mention Iraq. I am sure that Menendez has another set of ads planned to discuss that issue.

by jiacinto 2006-09-13 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: I like the NJ ad

I also like it.  My one issue is "stand up for New Jersey."  Seems strange---the President should stand up for the country, but not for any particular state."

I think I'd have taken out the "if" and ended the ad with, "George Bush has proven he won't stand up to foreign corporatons that seek to own our ports.  The next time he caves on American security, I'd be honored to represent New Jersey in the fight to insure American safety comes first."  

by bosdcla14 2006-09-13 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

Stender has already run a general ad, which Matt reviewed on MyDD, and has others in the can.  Also, you can see her diversity of points in the mail she's been sending out, which I have posted on here at MyDD.

Also, the 7th District in NJ is a moderate Republican district, and there are a lot of pro-Choice republican and unaffiliated women in this district.  An ad like this is a mover, which may not win a campaign but moves people away from Ferguson and towards Stender.

Watch for follow up!

by nathan 2006-09-13 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender
One of the ways to fight the Right on the abortion issue is to make the case that genuine conservatives wouldn't want state or federal government intruding into the most personal and intimate and sacred area of their lives.  Once we concede that the state has a role in our decisions about giving birth, we have conceded that there is no such thing as privacy whatsoever.
That is a decidedy un-conservative position.
by global yokel 2006-09-13 04:38PM | 0 recs

Didn't like it all; Dems really should not focus on abortion to win. Yes it is important, but isn't basically a given that Dems support abortion rights and Rethugs do not. She needs to come out with issues that are pressing. I mean come on it's not like abortion is really going to become illegal again anytime soon. As Chris said Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. Aslo, she did not even say she was a Dem; I give it a 3 out 10.

by Forward with Feingold 2006-09-13 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Stender

Abortion is already de-facto illegal in many places.  South Dakota has one clinic in the whole state, and still is trying to pass a law making it impossible to get one.

Other states pass parental notification laws that essentially criminalize teenage girls for seeking health care.

And Justice Kennedy was just in the hospital.  All we need is one more radical right wing Supreme Court Justice and abortion may lose its status as a constitutional right.  That would throw it back to the states, and many of them would outlaw it.  NJ would not, but many would.

Don't kid yourself that abortion and contraception and sex education are not at risk.  The right is using a slow drip method to eradicate them and it has been working for 20 years.

by nathan 2006-09-14 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

We need to see more ads quoting the 9/11 commission and the Senate committee--you know, where it said the run up to Iraq was a bunch of bull crap.  The tag line could be, they lied and your congressman supports those lies, even today!!

by melh 2006-09-13 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

The Stender ad was probably the best of the three...the looks on the faces of those ladies in the ad convey more than just words.

That ad will move the NJ-7 race...Sestak's ad will move the PA-7 race, but not as much.

Bob Menendez's ad was on an issue he fronted in the Senate, so that's a pretty solid piece too.

by dpinzow 2006-09-13 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

I live and vote in NJ. I don't like the Menendez ad. First, it makes a claim that is no longer true. The Dubai port deal was "stopped" long enough to get it off the TV screens, but now that everyone has forgotten it, it is still going strong in the background. Menendez should have reminded voters that he led the fight to stop the Dubai deal, but that Bush is still lying and deceiving us and if we let Kean win, he will go along with Bush. We need Menendez to put a stop to this crap once and for all.

Secondly, he needs to tie this ad to the Iraq war. After all, Dubai supported terrorists -- the very same "terrorists" we are supposedly fighting in Iraq. Easy tie-in between Dubai and Iraq there.

Finally, I'm pissed at Menendez. I've written him three times and called his Wash DC office twice trying to get him to come out and support Lamont and denounce Lieberman. I've even warned I would withhold my vote if he didn't at least answer me -- even a form letter would be nice. But not a single freakin' word from him or his office. WHen I spoke with his aides, they couldn't tell me his position on the CT primary. Not a good way to treat your base in a race that is breaking out to be this close. If he won't communicate during a close election, what chance do we have of expecting him to respond to us after he is re-elected? I think he's going to lose, and probably deserves to do so, sad to say.

by owlskinner 2006-09-13 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

Wow. I'm really surprised to read this. Obviously, I don't work for the Senate office, so I can't speak to the fact that you haven't heard anything back. But I can speak to the facts here.

Senator Menendez was one of the first Senators to indicate that he would support the winner of the Connecticut Senate primary.

On June 30th, as no less a source than Ned Lamont's campaign site noted, the Senator gave the following statement to The Hartford Courant:

"I support the party nominee and I'd be hard-pressed not to support that one," said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., of Lamont.

That was pretty clear, I think, and every major listing of Lamont supporters in the Senate included Senator Menendez.

As if that wasn't enough, after the CT-Sen primary, the Senator issued another statement of support for Ned Lamont at the the Menendez Blog:

Joe Lieberman is a good friend and an excellent Senator who has served his country with dignity. He ran a hard-fought campaign, but the voters of Connecticut have spoken, and I support their decision. I fully support Ned Lamont's candidacy.

Americans are fed up with George Bush's status quo policy in Iraq, and last night they spoke loudly and clearly that they want leaders who will take the country in a new direction. The choice for New Jersey voters is simple. I will stand up to George Bush and his failed policy in Iraq, and Tom Kean Jr. will be just another rubber stamp for the status quo.

I agree with what you're saying about the Senate office needing to do a better job of getting in touch -- I'm a constituent before I'm a campaign staffer. But I can't help but thinking that the Senator's actions -- standing with military families against the Iraq War in Teaneck, standing with workers at the controversial UMDNJ nurses' strike, taking part in a DFA-sponsored Iraq War forum in Morristown, etc. -- are far more important than any form letter you might receive when it comes to maintaining a relationship with the base.

by Scott Shields 2006-09-13 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender
I hope you check back and read this.  The main thing thats going on in this Senate race is that people have no idea that Tom Kean Jr. is the son and not the father!  What can the Menendez campaign do about that?  Tom Kean Jr. has no ads in my area (Hunterdon Cty.) Is he running ads anywhere, ads that show his own face?
by Rowena 2006-09-13 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender

We've just got to keep using the word 'Junior' and hope for the best. Honestly, once the ad war really begins in earnest, people will know who's running in this race.

by Scott Shields 2006-09-14 10:51AM | 0 recs
NJ Ads

While Iraq may be the Democrats' strongest issue this year, to say "Iraq, Iraq, Iraq" and insist that every single race in every single district has to come down to that is ridiculous.

I live in a district neighboring NJ-07, I used to work in Summit and my moms grew up in Union, which are both in that district, and I will tell you exactly why Stender can win there. Mike Ferguson (apart from being an Abramoff crony) is MUCH more conservative than his constituency on this issue. Republicans in that area are NOT social conservatives, they are wealthy suburbanites. Ferguson, on the other hand, ran the Catholic Campaign For American where he hobnobbed with Buchanan, Santorum, the Borks, and other right-to-life wingnuts. Suburban, northeast Republicans may already be lukewarm on their party, but if they are made aware of just how conservative and out of touch Ferguson is, he can be beat. While abortion may not show up on the national radar, it could be a great wedge issue for this district. Let's not get so carried away with the big picture.

I agree with whoever said that the Menendez ad should have brought up the fact that NJ and NY don't get a fair share of security money, but I would add that he has to say that he would fight for us to get it in the future. This is an issue that many Jerseyans don't know, but they (rightfully) get absolutely frikkin livid when I tell them about it.

Also, Vicky from Clark is pretty cute for a political ad. Tom Waits is a smart man, Jersey girls are the best.

by BenBass 2006-09-13 07:28PM | 0 recs
McCaskill Ads Up in Missouri

by Arthurkc 2006-09-14 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: McCaskill Ads Up in Missouri

Those are fantastic.

by OfficeOfLife 2006-09-14 10:54AM | 0 recs


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