WASHINGTON — Tim Pawlenty’s movie trailer ads have been a frequent talking point on the early campaign trail here, but apparently they’re getting noticed north of the border as well.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a campaign of his own, unveiled a campaign ad that looks and sounds a lot like Pawlenty’s ad for Courage to Stand. This is an issue in Canada, because opposition parties are trying to tie Harper to the Tea Party movement in the U.S., and they describe Pawlenty as a “Tea Party governor.”
From the Toronto Globe and Mail:
The 60-second Tory spot titled Our Country, which unfolds like the trailer for a Hollywood political thriller or a boastful Molson Canadian ad, mixes archival scenes from Canada’s glorious past, including the 1988 Olympic torch relay and a black-and-white newsreel snippet of marching soldiers, with sweeping images of the country’s awesome geography, fighter jets and a multicultural passel of faces.
The Pawlenty ad is a noisier, flashier, more expensive version of the Conservative spot, though both feature fighter jets, flag waving, ringing speeches by the leaders and clips of important national hockey games. (Mr. Pawlenty’s has the 1980 U.S. Miracle on Ice, while Mr. Harper’s uses Paul Henderson’s Game Seven winner from the 1972 Summit Series.) Where Mr. Harper says Canada “must be great for all Canadians, it must be a country of hope and an example to the world,” Mr. Pawlenty’s features a clip of the Berlin Wall falling and the Statue of Liberty.
The Liberal Party of Canada posted the two ads on its YouTube account back to back. Pawlenty’s is first. Harper’s comes just after the 1:30 mark.
Hat tip to POLITICO’s Ben Smith, who first noticed the ad on this side of the border, and who astutely noted that Pawlenty probably won’t mind that “Tea Party governor” moniker he’s getting up north.