Adwatch: Brian Schatz for Congress, HI-2

I read Matt's initial post about the Adwatch project and thought "cool!" but with little expectation that I'd participate because my own schedule. Then, on Monday evening as I'm watching TDS and The Cobert Report, I see the following Brian Schatz ad, not once, but twice. (Once during each show.) Brian Schatz is running for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district. This is the district that Ed Case currently represents, but is leaving to run against fellow Democrat Sen. Akaka.

The ad really struck me, not for its production values which are truly minimal, but for the messaging/talking points. Its as if he and his team read an embodied Chris Bowers' Democratic Congressional Challengers Strategy Memo.

Further the ad was very targeted to the cable broadcast of TDS and The Cobert report where is likely to find a receptive audience.

Let's do a run down of the ad and Chris Bowers' memo:

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HI-SEN: Show Lamont-Backing Akaka a Big Volcano of Support, Y'all!

Saturday over at I raised the then-new Rasmussen poll showing this primary race as a statistical dead heat - Akaka 47%/Case 45%.  That poll still freaks me out.  I do not mind all the love shown for Lamont, I just think it would be a shame if Ned Lamont were elected to serve as Connecticut's junior senator just to have his votes cancelled out by Hawaii's conservative DINO-DLC-Joementum-stealer, Ed Case.

My diary inadvertently caused a flame war because I was frustrated at the heaps of attention given to Connecticut's primary compared to the almost zippo amount of attention everyone seems to give to the Hawaii primary.  I know!  Many of you will think that every other race outside of that CT-SEN primary is saying that, but in this case the comparisons are all too relevant: it's a Senate primary where a Democrat is challenging a Democratic incumbent, and the ideological contrasts between these candidates are even more sharp.  

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HI-Sen: Update on the Reverse Lieberman/Lamont Race

While most of the progressive blogosphere is watching Lieberman and Lamont's every move ahead of the August 8 Connecticut Democratic Primary, Akaka is fighting hard to fend off Democrat-In-Name-Only (DINO) Ed Case's primary election challenge.  Here is a quick update on some of the more important developments in the race for the September 23 Hawaii Democratic Primary.

Case Going For His Base... Republicans   This is a must read article from the Honolulu Advertiser about DINO Case's strategy to get out his base of Republican voters.  Hawaii has an open primary, after all, where voters can choose whichever primary ballot they wish, regardless of party registration.

The Air War Senator Dan Inouye appears in TV ad for Akaka. It's my understanding that this isn't the sort of thing Inouye usually does.  He's never been in a primary ad for any Democratic candidate in Hawai'i, but he's supported Akaka since Ed Case announced.  You can see the ad here.  Also check out the TV ad featuring Akaka's eloquent call for peace and an end Bush's failed war in Iraq.

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Akaka, Hawaii, Case, and Race

I read this post, Why does Sen. Akaka support Oil drilling in ANWR?, and it prompted me to recount a conversation I had with a Hawaii native who's quite savvy in Hawaii politics.  Here's what he told me is going on.

Akaka's challenger is Ed Case, a hyperambitious politician on the far right of the Democratic party.  Case comes from an extremely successful and well-heeled family (AOL founder Steve Case is his cousin), and as such, he is still talking about staying the course in Iraq and was a co-sponsor of the Bankruptcy Bill.  Akaka is an 81 year old Senator, a progressive who doesn't have that much energy anymore.  Daniel Akaka has a deal with Ted Stevens, trading concessions for Hawaii natives for ANWR drilling.

The below-the-radar issue in Hawaii seems to be race and resources.  There has been massive immigration in Hawaii over the past twenty years, and there is a fault line between the new white immigrants and the native Hawaiians.  Even though Case is one of the most reactionary Democrats in Congress, I'm told that white progressives are somewhat split on Akaka.  The progressive Democrats of Hawaii have endorsed Akaka, but Case's message that Hawaii needs a young man as Senator seems to be working in at least some quarters.  

Anyway, that's what I'm told.  Any thoughts from Hawaiian readers would be much appreciated.

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