'NY pickups doubtful': 'Times' says it with a photo

The Times has a piece today which suggests that the number of Dem House pickups expected earlier in the year (four or five, it says) has been whittled down to one or zero.

And

At the same time, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to spend roughly $50 million on advertisements for races around the country, according to Republican estimates. But none of that money has been set aside for New York races, except for [NY-24], according to Democrats involved in the races.

I know nowhere near enough to comment on the substance of any of that.

What drew my attention was the photo that runs with the story: it's that lefty sphere fave, the truly yummy Kirsten Gillibrand, out campaigning with the not-quite-so-fave Hillary.

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Accountability Adwatch: Kirsten Gillibrand - NEW Ad

Bumped from the diaries -- Jonathan... This is a great web ad, produced and put up almost immediately after GOP Rep. John Sweeney went even more strongly negative against Kirsten Gillibrand's family. David Straithairn, who actually lives in the district, reprises his role as Edward R. Murrow in "Good Night, And Good Luck". It's difficult to imagine a more memorable ad.

And the transcript:

http://www.gillibrand2006.com/node/350

I think this ad is pretty damned good.  I saw Good Night and Good Luck and it was one of my all-time favorite movies (I wish they'd show it in schools just for that speech at the end).  This ad has very much of that feel, asking John Sweeney, "Have you no decency?" It directly challenges him on being a Republican rubber stamp and slams the Republicans for their bully tactics.

I think this is exactly the kind of thing we need.  Simple, direct, and unforgettably unique.  The only problem is it is presently web-only.  Apparently the media has taken quite a liking to it, though, so that may change.  I'd certainly encourage everyone to donate and help make sure this gets out there.

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MyDD Accountability Adwatch: Kirsten Gillibrand

Do Democratic media consultants draw from the same stock music pile?  Apparently they do.  But first, let's get to the ad.

This one is made by well-known Clinton-allied firm Hudson Media Partners, which is the media arm of the Glover Park Group.  Glover Park's Carter Eskew made the Lieberman bear ad, though Eskew no longer works for Lieberman.  

Kirsten Gillibrand is running in New York's 20th against frat boy John Sweeney.  The ad is pretty good, associating Sweeney with Bush's failures in Iraq and promising change in Iraq if we get change in Washington.  Iraq is central to Gillibrand's strategy; she's constantly challenging her opponent on the war.  This ad fits in nicely here, though I wish she would mention party affiliation.  

There are a few negatives to the ad.  For instance, visual and audio cliches about 'our brave troops'.  It sort of smacked me of insincerity, boredom, and a lack of creativity around how to express a simple idea through imagery and sound.  A moderately pleasing generic candidate talking about the bravery of troops just sort of feels like a political ad.  That said, I'm relatively pleased with the spot.

One thing I'm going to try to do with adwatch is to start looking at a comprehensive ad strategy instead of just a one-off ad.  That's a very good suggestion that many of you made.  So let's do that here.  The other ads, which I can't pull down from Gillibrand's web site, are much worse than this spot.  They focus on issues rather than character, and are deeply policy-oriented.

This one titled 'back to school', for instance, talks about college tuition deductions, and sounds wonky.  This 'disagree' ad discusses big oil and Iraq, but again, there's no narrative flow, and the use of the term 'I respectfully disagree' shows more respect to Bush than the electorate is willing to accord.  At no point does Gillibrand mention she's a Democrat, or that Sweeney is a Republican; that's not a huge problem because she includes Bush in the ad, but it's not great in terms of her being able to distinguish herself as different than Sweeney.  Finally, I thought it was amusing that the music from both the back to school and the disagree spots is the same music used in this Corzine ad from 2005.  The Corzine ad was made by a different big Democratic firm, so there's probably some pot of stock music that is generically pleasant, sort of like being emotionally uplifted by committee, that Democratic consultants like to cut and paste from.

Anyway, Gillibrand's most recent ad is her best one, so that's a positive sign.

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Adwatch: Kirsten Gillibrand, NY-20 vs. Rep. John Sweeney (update)

I previously wrote about a Gillibrand ad here.  Well she just launched a new ad and I think this one is a winner.   In a nutshell it takes on the war, states her opponent's 100% bush war voting record and says we need a change in congress so we can have a change in Iraq.  Its simple and effective.   Let me know what you think.

I can't get the Youtube to post directly here.  Can someone advise on that?  I got it to work on my own Scoop blog here or you can check it out on DKOS in the current open thread.

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Adwatch: Kirsten Gillibrand on Iraq

It's Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2006. The day after Labor Day and the campaign season is officially on. 64 days to election day.

Kirsten Gillibrand candidate in New York's 20th Congressional District has already challenged incumbent John Sweeney to a debate on Iraq 3 times. Sweeney is ducking and running, hiding from Gillibrand, hiding for the issues, hiding from the constituents of NY-20. The best he has offered is sometime after Labor Day.

It is now after Labor Day.

Today, the Gillibrand Campaign came out with a new TV ad on Iraq and John Sweeney.

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