Political Fireworks For The Long Weekend
By: Rachel Marsden
Remember when Lyndon Johnson sealed his 1964 U.S. presidential victory by
lobbing that classic nuclear horror political ad, "Daisy," at Barry Goldwater?
Well, check out some recent campaign messaging hits and bombs, from both sides
of the border:
Conservative Party of Canada's NASCAR sponsorship: Leaving aside the obvious jokes about plastering a massive Conservative Party logo on the hood of a car that only makes left turns, the move will likely confuse Canadians.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said: "This is a unique opportunity for the Conservative Party to reach out to Canadians." Really? Reach out to Canadians through a paint job? I suppose if you send out the car, then you don't have to leave the house and risk screwing up.
I wouldn't have had guy holding the nation's wallet make the announcement. Voters could forget he's using party money, and think their tax dollars are going towards pimping out someone's ride.
Fred Thompson's movies and TV gigs: Actor and former senator Fred Thompson isn't running for president -- yet.
But folks are psyched because it looks like he's really got his *&%$ together in those Law and Order reruns, and he just played a U.S. President (Ulysses S. Grant) in a movie.
It's like he's busy checking off items in a scavenger hunt: See Fred go to England to visit Maggie Thatcher. See Fred hang out in a gun shop. See Fred mimic the unemployed by blogging. Just run Fred, run!
Thankfully, Fred hasn't forgotten the importance of the war on terror. He doesn't shy away from reminding people during his media appearances that Islamic terrorists are strapped in for the long haul -- meaning hundreds of years, if necessary. But it's time to stop playing Howard Cosell and start throwing punches inside the ring.
"I've Got a Crush on Obama" viral internet video: To be fair, this video -- featuring a busty, writhing model juxtaposed with shots of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama -- isn't an official campaign ad. Obama's reaction to the video, according to the Des Moines Register? "It's just one more example of the fertile imagination of the Internet." My response would have been: "That video is great -- if I ever want to be in a Will Smith music video, or apply for a job as a pimp." Then he should have parlayed the media attention into something substantial -- for once.
The Clinton Sopranos spoof video: They're sitting in the diner with Sopranos mobsters. Bill wants onion rings, but Hillary is the boss and she has ordered him carrot sticks!
Whatever. Bill Clinton is the political equivalent of a giant Hummer (no, not that kind). His charisma upstages her, so it's hard for people to see past him to get a good look at naked empress Hillary.
When we get a glimpse, we see why she has the highest negative rating of any candidate. Her socialist leanings and, for example, GOP Sen. James Inhofe's comments this week about how he heard her saying she'd like the FCC to impose ideological balance (i.e. affirmative action) on the nation's airwaves obviously aren't barn burners. (I'm looking forward to applying for the token "conservative seat" next to every mainstream news anchor, if Hillary gets elected.)
And the issues are still what matter. Buzz that can't crash land or doesn't resonate, like "Daisy" did, is useless. The biggest challenge will be getting that dork -- elbow deep in the Doritos, and zoned out in front of his computer where he's clicking "replay" on the "Obama girl" video -- out to vote.
PUBLISHED: TORONTO SUN (July 1/07)
COPYRIGHT 2007 RACHEL MARSDEN