Friday, October 17, 2008

Speculating About The New Jill Long Thompson TV Ads

As a long time political activist, I find political strategy fascinating. To this day it amazes me the number of politicians and their advisers who do not understand basic political strategy and couldn't pass the campaign strategy class I used to teach. In this blog I hope to illuminate the various political strategies and point out which are smart and not so smart.

That brings me to Jim Shella's blog. Yesterday Jim speculates about the long awaited Jill Long Thompson ads, and wonders whether they'll be about the bad investment of the money from privatized toll road.

I wouldn't be surprised. It's not a horrible political strategy, but somewhat disingenuous because the Governor has no say over the investment of state funds - that's the State Treasurer's call. I think though you could put the Governor on the spot for not demanding the funds be invested differently. It's a reach, but certainly no worse of a reach than the Governor's commercial which suggested that the original intent behind the lottery was for the funds to go to education. That simply is not accurate.

Here is a two-part, last-minute TV commercial strategy JLT would be wise to employ, and one the Daniels' people should be prepared to fight against.

1) Run TV commercials reminding voters that Governor Daniels served as head of the Office of Management of Budget and the deficit that developed on his watch.

Note: I can only suppose JLT has not done this because she is concerned that Bush is too popular in this state. If I were her, I'd take that chance in a heartbeat in what is likely to be a very big Democrat year. She ought to tie Daniels to Bush, hitching her wagon to the anti-Bush sentiment.

2) Run a second set of TV commercials to address economic issues, job real people talking about losing their jobs or having them shipped overseas.

Note: This plays into the No. 1 issue which is driving people to vote Democrat this year. It's also an issue that the Daniels' advisers seem to have a deaf ear about. As I noted previously, Governor Daniels is still running commercials touting how well the state is doing. That was a good strategy maybe six weeks ago. It's a very bad strategy today. People want their elected officials to understand and sympathize with their plight. The Daniels' commercials now come across as seeming out of touch, unsympathetic to people during this downturn in the economy.

Now that I think about it, no campaign has every paid me for my political advice, so maybe I'm way off base.


Anonymous said...

So you think she will have new ads up? Also what do you think of Brian Howeys article today that says essentially that the Dems want JLT to lose?

Paul K. Ogden said...


I think she surely will have some ads up. The question is when. The longer the period goes though, the more it shows the financial trouble she is in. She has had a golden opportunity to win this race and hasn't been able to put the ads on the air.

I think there are a lot of Democrats who would benefit if JLT did not win. But that's true in many races. For example, you don't think Hillary Clinton is secretly wishing Obama would lose? Same with a lot of other Democrat presidential hopefuls waiting in the wings.