Triple Adwatch: Menendez, Sestak and Stender
by Chris Bowers, Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 01:57:23 PM EDT
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.