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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Yet Another Odd Political Ad

Recent posts have featured offbeat political ads. Steve Martin has made a YouTube spot for Bob Kerrey, who once served as a Democratic senator from Nebraska and is running again.

It is unclear how the video will help Kerrey.

  • The indirect approach is clever, but cleverness seldom wins elections.  As of 10/6, it has over 100,000 views -- but how many of them are undecided Nebraska voters?  Probably very few.
  • Kerrey left Nebraska for New York, and has to fight the perception that he severed his roots to join the coastal elite.  Will an ad by a California-bred actor/comedian allay this suspicion?
  • Kerrey knows Martin through his wife, Sarah Paley.  During the summer, The Washington Post reported on an article that she had written for Vogue:

The former “Saturday Night Live” writer, 55, met the glamorous bachelor in 1995 when he was still in office. The two fell in love and then “I lured him to my hometown, New York City, when he decided not to run again,” she wrote. They married in 2001 and settled in Greenwich Village where they’ve raised their son Henry, now 10.
Describing herself as “secretive” and “so private,” Paley said she doesn’t much like politics — or anything that requires social interaction. (“My idea of a good time is when people cancel.”) What do you think about Nebraska, Ms. Paley? “The Midwest is a strange land for an Easterner of my ilk,” she wrote, describing anti-abortion billboards and the deer carcasses her son frolics among. Oh, and take note, Cornhuskers: She doesn’t like football.
Is this Paley being funny? Or is it — as some critics suggested — a condescending, East Coast put-down? A few Nebraskans noted that her essay wasn’t written for voters, but for Vogue, for whom she posed wearing a Narciso Rodriguez dress and Manolo Blahnik heels.