OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Sunday, September 10, 2006 :::

Ad Out

I go away for a Sorensen weekend and all hell breaks loose over the new Webb campaign ad -- which might actually end up on television, of all things.

I'm not going to rehash what others have said, except to pick up on a thread of conversation that I began with Conaway, but wasn't able to finish.

First, it's not uncommon for a political candidate to use footage of another politician singing his or her praises...even if, later, said candidate later flamed said politician for real or perceived lapses. Selective use of footage, like selective use of written material, is a staple of ad making. The real fun, however, comes in pointing out the selective usage. And it seems people have been enjoying themselves a great deal this weekend.

My only question about the use of Reagan in Webb's ad is the thinking behind it. Why...when there are still those who believe Ronald Reagan was the devil incarnate...would Webb use him? What is the strategic thinking behind this?

It's possible that, as a soft bio piece, the usage makes perfect sense. And, it may have the benefit of showing Webb as someone who is above party, committed more to ideas and service than partisan gain.


There could also be the thinking that using Reagan, and running this ad in Hampton Roads, for example, will soften Allen's base.

That's a possibility.

I'm open to ideas on this because I think it's a fascinating question. Here we have a challenger who appears uncomfortable with retail politics and who, as a consequence, must apply his more limited resources with care. Does the ad help or hurt? Or does it even matter, because this ad won't be able to run for long anyway?

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 9/10/2006 2 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

"Don't pretend that you know me...cause I don't even know myself" -- The Who

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