July 7, 2004
Just Who IS John Edwards?
Let’s ask the Republican National Committee.
O-ho! It seems Edwards is not only disingenuous, he’s also unaccomplished!! And, worst of all, folks, prepare yourselves, shield your children’s eyes and ears … Edwards is also a friend to personal injury trial lawyers!!! A friend!! The very thought!
Come now, surely they could have done better than that against Edwards. Especially given that they clearly had the site at the ready (ahem, KerryPicksGephardt.com, KerryPicksVilsack.com, KerryPicksBayh.com, KerryPicksClark.com, KerryPicksBiden.com).
The DNC site is a bit less worse. (At least it includes no really crummy Flash movies, as far as I can tell.)
If you’re going to unleash a fabled $200 million war chest on somebody, why not at least do it in style? Joshua Green attempts an explanation in this month’s Atlantic Monthly, but the guy whose ads he chooses as examples of sophisticated, clever marketing sounds neither sophisticated nor clever:
On a giant-screen television Brabender first played “Waste,” which he created for Rick Santorum’s successful 1994 challenge to Senator Harris Wofford, of Pennsylvania. It opens with a hand daintily snipping a sliver of paper with red kiddie scissors. “This is how serious Harris Wofford is about cutting government waste,” begins a gentle voice, over the lilt of chamber music. Cut to another pair of hands as a chain saw tears through an enormous stack of paper. The voice becomes a bellow fit for a monster-truck-show announcer: “And this is how serious Rick Santorum is! In the last term of Congress he introduced more original bills cutting government waste than anyone else! Join the fight!”—a boxing glove smashes through the screen—”Santorum for Senate!”
It’s not like it costs that much to make a decent ad. I mean, how much could it have taken for MoveOn.org political ad contestant Christopher Fink to have made this? And even though the ad’s slickness means Charlie Fisher probably threw some money and experience into this, it can’t have been as much as John Kerry probably paid for this.