Saturday, July 06, 2013

Behind the Ad: Rep. Rush Holt, New Jersey Rocket Scientist

By Richard K. Barry

Who: Rep. Rush Holt U.S. Senate campaign

Where: New Jersey (web ad)

What's going on: Rush Holt is running for the open Senate seat in New Jersey, left vacant when Frank Lautenberg died. He's a Democrat as is some guy by the name of Cory Booker, also running. This ad is an attempt by Holt to establish some kind of brand differentiation between the two. The difficultly of doing that is made clear in the ad, which has someone saying that though she likes Booker, she is voting for Rush. Harsh words!

One of the interesting things about Holt is that he actually is a rocket scientists, in fact an astrophysicist, which has always made for good jokes in his part of New Jersey that, yes, his constituents have a rocket scientist for a representative. Hence the name of the ad, "Orbit."

The spot also draws attention to Holt's progressive voting record during his 14 years in the House, which is, truth be told, pretty progressive.

The Democratic primary is on August 13th. Rep. Frank Pallone and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver are also going after the Democratic nomination.

It's hard to believe Booker can be beat, but, as they say in football, you never know and that's why you play the game.

On a scale of one to ten, I give the ad a five. It's cute and inoffensive, though it's hard to know how he'll make up much ground with that approach.

(Cross-posted at Phantom Public.)

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