Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Clinton Ad Evokes 9/11, Attacks Wrong Candidate

Clinton Ad Evokes 9/11, Attacks Wrong Candidate

Coming into the all-important New York State Primary, The Clinton Campaign has released a new ad targeting the Empire State.

Clearly this ad is a shot at Trump. It even shows a portion of one of his signs, though I’m not sure if it’s a real estate sign or a campaign sign. Either way,  that visual is an amateur mistake for an experienced Clinton Campaign. A schoolboy error. A freshman’s folly…

Despite some problems, it’s a great ad

Like she did with her emails in yesterday’s post, she is shining a light on opposing candidates – literally using their names – and giving them free advertising and name-recognition. What Hillary’s campaign doesn’t seem to understand, is that Trump supporters actually support his border wall plan idea. Their shame is wearing off and spreading the imagery of a wall and associating it with Trump might do more harm than good. In a vacuum, I do think this ad is excellent in production value and messaging. I’m not sure how effective it will be in a primary against Bernie Sanders though. It may even come off as particularly dismissive of a legitimate Democratic candidate to undecided voters – and it’s not good to leave a bad taste in voters’ mouths this close to New York’s Democratic Primary.

So why did She choose to go after Trump?

1. She’s disregarding Sanders

The Hillary Clinton Campaign may be making a fatal error by disregarding Bernie Sanders’ recent gains in both Wisconsin and National Polls. He is both out-raising and outspending her as The Clinton Campaign loves to point out, and is only gaining momentum after winning 6 of the last 7 States. So why does her email messaging differ so much from her campaign messaging? It could be that it’s easier for campaigns to raise money when donors have a dollar goal they are challenged to reach. Most people receiving her emails support her, so they may be inclined to donate if they feel she is truly under pressure.

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What’s more likely though is point #2.

2. This ad was produced well in advance

Despite the nature of the 24-hour news cycle, television ads are often times produced in bunches in a single day. Meaning, they record 20 “I’m Hillary Clinton and I approve this ad” varieties all at once and piece them with other footage to match the news cycle. This goes for policy points and 30 second sound bits as well. Most likely, this audio was recorded and the video was edited several weeks ago.

But maybe they know more than me – and that’s super likely.

3. Utilizing 9/11 Feelings vs Trump Wall Rage is Magic

Perhaps she truly grasps the essence of the soul of New York. I thought it was strange to see her 9/11 reference in the New York ad, but it made perfect sense when pitted against Donald Trump and his wall. It demonstrates togetherness vs separation beautifully; a hallmark of the Sanders’ Campaign, and a brand Hillary has pushed her way into, despite years of supporting policies that disproportionately hurt minorities. What’s even crazier is the relatively conservative Clinton Campaign made a 9/11 reference after the fail that was her Wall Street Defense in an earlier debate. Bravo.

Overall, this is a great ad for a general election. The production is fantastic, the diversity seems mostly natural and doesn’t quite reach pandering levels, all while pitting Trump vs. 9/11 era New York. Borderline brilliant ad… if this was the general.

Ryan Black is a documentary filmmaker, political consultant, and digital media professional who writes about Progressive Politics.

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