Mitch Berg: The best local political ad so far this year

Joel Demos may need more than a great web ad to beat Keith Ellison in the Fifth District. He’ll probably need the National Guard.

The Fifth, aka “Berkeley on the Prairie,” is one of those districts where the DFL could endorse a package of pork chops and get 50% of the vote.

Still – if great ads won elections, Demos could start measuring the drapes in Ellison’s office.

There is no more thankless job in the world than running for CD5 (or CD4, across the river, which is just as bad).

But if Republicans in the city couldn’t hope for miracles, we couldn’t hope for much at all.

This post was written by Mitch Berg and originally published on Shot In The Dark.

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/09/2010 - 07:10 am.

    One of the smartest students I went to school with was a philosophy major. I remember him saying in class that he believed that it was the ideas current in a society that drove history’s course. I remembering being entirely stunned at the comment but I’d like to think he was right.

    It seems there are two ways arguments affect discourse, by causing large numbers of people to rethink and by comforting large numbers of people who’d rather not think at all. I think there’s a lot of evidence that the latter kind of argument often holds sway. Excuse me while I go sniff a flower.

  2. Submitted by Mitch Berg on 08/09/2010 - 07:28 am.

    ” I think there’s a lot of evidence that the latter kind of argument often holds sway”

    Of course current ideas drive history.

    The DFL’s current “idea” is that they are smart, and dissenters are dummies who just don’t think (like they do). It drives – well, not “history” so much as the DFL/media’s view of…themselves.

    Anyway – the ad is a good one.

  3. Submitted by Ed Kohler on 08/09/2010 - 09:34 am.

    Mitch, think I understand why this ad would appeal to you, but I don’t understand what would make it appeal to voters in the 5th.

    I don’t see how this connects with the 55% of voters who chose Ellison in 2006 or the 70% of voters who chose Ellison in 2008.

    Demos would have to appeal to at least some of those voters to have any kind of a shot.

    To me, this seems like an ad that appeals to the right-wing base, which may be inspirational to you, but is way too small in the 5th to win.

  4. Submitted by Ross Williams on 08/09/2010 - 09:55 am.

    Did people actually watch the video? It is clearly an appeal to supporters for help, not an appeal to voters. You could take any candidate in the country who has no chance of winning against an incumbent and use it with only minor modifications.

    What I thought was really interesting was the ominous images of being run over by the truck tires. The same truck tires that were powered forward by Demo and his supporters. Was the message come help me run over you? Or maybe if you aren’t behind the machine helping we will run over you. I am not sure which.

    And yeh, that is way too literal.

  5. Submitted by Joe Williams on 08/09/2010 - 09:57 am.

    It is a creative ad visually, but it lacks any sort of useful message, “California and New York! dun-dun-daaaaahhhhh.”

    Mitch, I truly do not believe that any party has the lock on smart, but the GOP certainly seem to have the martyr (dissenters are dummies, ramming it down our throats) narrative at the ready.

  6. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/09/2010 - 10:34 am.

    I was wondering when you would get around to making your political statement.

    I would think the two political parties that have actively collaborated to double the projected deficit during the Pawlenty administration is nothing to crow about. Our “fiscally conservative” governor has not made a lot of headway in bringing MN back in the black. That was made worse by rolling the deficit for the past eight years. That is certainly not my definition of “fiscally conservative”. Although it does meets my definition of avoidance. How can we avoid making the hard decisions.

    That aside, the ad is simple and effective. I gather that the demographic it is appealing to most is the NASCAR and Monster Truck folks. I’m not convinced that fits the demographic in that particular district but who knows. A good ad is still a good even though it might not be successful.

  7. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/09/2010 - 12:44 pm.

    My comments on this ad, originally posted under Derek Wallbanks’ “Ever Seen a Monster Truck . . .” (August 5):

    I’m appalled by the indirect but intentional references to Ellison’s race and religious beliefs, i.e.:

    Running “against Keith Ellison in Minneapolis”, an obvious racial reference given the fact that the 5th distict includes far more than Minneapolis ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota's_5th_congressional_district);

    Ellison “made history in his election to Congress”, a reference to the fact that Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress; and

    That Ellison’s election brought with it a “national base” of contributors, which one can only conclude refers again to his fellow Muslims.

    This approach alone would prevent me from voting for Mr. Demos if I lived in the district. In fact, if Ellison needed any more funds, I’d send him a check.

  8. Submitted by Tom Steinlitz on 08/09/2010 - 12:59 pm.

    Mitch – Readers need to know that Joel Demos received contributions from outside MN before this ad was released – just check his FEC report (which is both ironic and hypocritical because Demos attacks Ellison for receiving contributions from ‘places like CA and NY’).

    Even more embarrassing for the rookie Demos, he touted on his OWN Facebook and Twitter pages that ‘people from all over America’ are contributing to his campaign. Talk about a major screw up…

    Joel is trying to have it both ways. Readers need to be informed about Demos’ hypocrisy.

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