Wednesday, September 21, 2011

American Everyman

Take a look at Rick Perry’s first national campaign spot:

Notice the more-than-casual resemblance to a major movie studio’s coming attraction for a summer blockbuster.  As such, the spot is designed to whet your appetite for a well-scripted story. The interesting thing is that it isn’t the “Rick Perry Story.” There’s nothing about where he comes from, his being the nation’s longest serving governor or the number of jobs created in Texas under his stewardship. The only biographical fact about him is that he joined the armed forces as a young man instead of, say, taking up community organizing. So what’s the story we're being invited to watch?

You’d have to be under general anesthesia to miss it. The first half of the spot reminds you that Obama’s a real zero, a maker of empty promises, leading an administration of empty suits that’s delivering nothing to the American people (who are strangely absent from Obama’s America).  Without quite saying it out loud, the second half insinuates that Obama's so bad at his job because there’s an empty space in his chest where there should be the beating heart of an American patriot. Perry belongs in the White House, on the other hand, not because there's anything very special about him, because he’s an American Everyman who knows in his bones what it means to be an American without having to read it off a teleprompter.

All president candidates wrap themselves in the flag occasionally.  As long as there's plausible deniability if they're called to account, few are above leaving the impression that there's something a little unAmerican about their opponent.   Yet this spot doesn't leave much room for denying that the Perry campaign means every disparaging word it's plainly saying about Obama.  I can't recall seeing anything quite like it from a presidential candidate with a substantial chance of beating an incumbent president.


Anonymous said...

Rick Perry is the Americanist American in America. It's nice of him to let the rest of us hang around.

Anonymous said...

It's a good ad, particularly the montage contrasting the campaign promise with the theme of ZERO jobs created. The rest is hockum, but standard. NO NEW IDEAS -- just I believe in America, our best days are ahead of us, and the kid with the model WWII plane.

Key: The response MUST make Perry UNABLE to run it again with a straight face.

Big long lines of car workers going into a GM plant comes to mind, and interviews w/ small business people saying they were afraid the local bank would fold and they'd never keep ahead of it. A negating factoid about the contrast between Perry's words and results.

And no delay; no hand-wringing about going negative too early ... Define him when he's still all over the place, while he's still debating the campaign slogan!!!


Anonymous said...

Question for the commentators: What's Obama's ad going to be? Is he going to tout ObamaCare? Stimulus? Raising debt ceiling? What is he going say? Hope & Change?

Matt said...

What's Obama's ad going to be? I may have been ineffectual but the other guys are batshit crazy!