An "Anti" Message
Tuesday, August 29, 2006 :::
Over barbecue, the topic of the Allen-Webb race came up (of course). Earlier in the month, at his talk before the Sorensen class, Barnie Day said it was vital for a candidate to run "for" something -- not against someone.
It's an old and valuable lesson, but one that's often either lost or forgotten in the heat of a campaign.
Regarding the Allen-Webb contest, this same lesson was brought up. Jim Webb is not so much running for the Senate as he is running against a guy named George. And, via Brian, we can see from Webb's online ad that he seems to be running against George Bush.
That would be fine if Mr. Webb was running for president and he'd previously aired a series of ads introducing himself to the electorate and outlining reasons why people should vote for him.
Rather, we get an "anti" message -- which may be useful in motivating those who profoundly dislike the president to show up at the polls. But where is the positive incentive? Not here. And for that matter, George Allen makes what amounts to a cameo appearance.
Of course, the only way to see if this message passes or fails the "vote for" test is to have it run on television and then gauge the response. But unless and until Webb has the money to do so, it's almost a moot point.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 8/29/2006