Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Bass Attack Ad

Charlie Bass has a new ad, attacking Paul Hodes on Iraq. Swing State Project and The Yankee Doodler have posts highlighting one of this ad's central absurdities, namely that the ad says
Now, Hodes wants to send troops into Kurdistan. Kudistan? Hodes says he’s got a plan for Iraq.
Problem being, of course, that Kurdistan is part of Iraq.

This is hilarious and pathetic all at once, especially given how ragingly amateurish the ad is. Seriously, it looks like someone with no design or advertising background whomped it together on their PC one night.

But the ad signals something important, and I don't want that to get lost.

All along, Bass has insisted on the positivity of the campaign he was going to run. I've posted before on the way he focuses on the positivity of the campaign he's going to run, and refuses to engage with the important issues of the day. As I wrote then
Charlie Bass's game is to pretend to be above politics, above partisanship, while he sneaks in in the middle of the night to vote to interfere in people's personal lives. Paul Hodes, on the other hand, may be doing politics (and I'd hope so, given that this is a political campaign), but he can do so openly, without shame or sneering about it, because he is doing an honorable politics.
This was after Bass had accused Hodes' support of a plan to improve tax credits for college students as stemming from "the difference between policy and politics" and gone on
“I’m going to run for re-election the way I have the previous six terms. I’m going to run a positive campaign and I’ll work harder than anyone else,’’ Bass said.

“I’ll win re-election the old fashioned way.’’
I'll be curious to see if he continues to insist that this is what he's doing, but I think any reasonable observer would conclude that Bass has abandoned any pretense of positive campaigning. He's done so just five days after his spokeswoman's response to Hodes' ad on Iraq was to say

We think it’s unfortunate and disappointing that once again Mr. Hodes decided to go with a negative ad campaign.

We could argue about whose ad is more negative; it might not surprise you to find that I think the Bass ad is substantially more so. I say this because Bass' ad is done in classic negative ad form: The candidate only appears for long enough to say he authorized the message, there's a threatening-sounding voiceover by someone other than the candidate, there's a lot of black screen with leading questions written on it. It's amateurish but textbook attack ad. By contrast, Hodes' ad features a good deal of video of the candidate, and he does the voiceover. There's no need for the candidate to hide from this message. And that in turn speaks for the fairness of the message itself.

Let's just remember this the next time Charlie tries to claim he's running a positive campaign. Just because you don't have the nerve to voice your own ad doesn't mean it's not your ad.


Blogger yankeedoodler said...

Excellent thoughts as usual, Laura.

Another more cynical thought re: the "positive" campaign: you don't think Team Bass might actually know full well where Kurdistan is, but is banking on Granite Staters not knowing?

If true, that would be pretty low, and pretty disrespectful.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Ma Joad said...

I will be contributing money to both NH Democratic Congressional candidates soon. Do you have any more recent polls on the two races?

1:47 PM  
Blogger Ma Joad said...


It is possible that these Repugs might display evidence of active ill will.
Rove and others do, and NH is not immune to this disease.
Something sinister there is amid the incompetence.

It might be just another case of Malice in Blunderland.

I just gave $400 to Hodes and $400 to Shea-Porter along with $40 tip to Act Blue.
Any new polling info or guesses as to how H and S-P are doing now?

2:56 PM  
Blogger MissLaura said...

Wow, ma joad, you are my hero.

I keep meaning to post on the new UNH/WMUR poll - it shows Bass 46 - Hodes 36. I continue to have methodological problems with that poll, but insofar as the comparison with their july poll gives us trendlines to work with, we see Hodes with serious momentum, having closed the gap by like 18 points. And it puts Bass under 50%.

I'd still probably rely more on the internal Hodes poll from last month and the DCCC poll from a couple weeks ago, since they have bigger samples and smaller margins of error. But I'm pleased that this UNH one shows Hodes with momentum. Not to mention it was done before the sockpuppet scandal and probably had only a small overlap with Hodes' tv ad.

Anyway, look for a post saying pretty much what I just said sometime in the next few days.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Ma Joad said...

Thanks for the update and thanks for all you do.

3:37 PM  

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