Monday, April 14, 2014

Behind the Ad: Damage control in Iowa

By Richard K. Barry

Who: Senate Majority PAC (Democratic PAC)

Where: Iowa

What's going on: A short while ago Rep. Bruce Braley (D), who is seen as a front-runner in the race to succeed Sen. Tom Harken (D), who is retiring, made a dismissive comment about Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), calling him a "farmer from Iowa." The context of the comment was that Grassley would, as a farmer, be unqualified to be on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I had fun at the time asking when it become smart politics to make fun of farmers in Iowa.

Who knows if such foolish comments will have an impact, but Democrats are worried enough to do some damage control.
In the ad, two men who appear to be farmers tout Braley's family farming roots and defend his character, implicitly refuting concern that his gaffe shows he's out of touch with Iowa farmers.

"We don't pay attention to what people say, we look at what they do," one says. "Bruce led the fight to pass a new farm bill and he's been a leader on renewable fuels. So people can say what they like, but we know Bruce and we know he's got our back."

I love the comment that "we don't pay attention to what people say." As for myself, I tend to pay attention, but that's me.

Grade: If you shoot yourself in the foot, I guess you're obliged to make ads with people saying you're not as stupid as you appear to be. C

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