Political Attack Ads

NorthDecoder.comBy Chet, www.NorthDecoder.com

There’s an interesting, new, dis­honest TV ad out from slum­shark Rick Berg. I’ll describe the dishonest and hypocritical ad, first, and then give you some analysis.

The ad features women around a table talking about Heidi Heitkamp’s “attack ads against Rick Berg,” her “support for President Obama’s healthcare plan,” and her “saying what people want to hear.” They claim it’s not the “North Dakota way.”

Okay, so here are few things that are “interesting” about the ad.

First, the woman who says the first line in the ad — “There she goes again…” — is Ilene Larson. She’s the mother of a liberal friend of mine, Sarah. I don’t think they agree on much, politically. I’ve known Ilene (not particularly well, but as an acquaintance) for years and years. I’m surprised to see her in this type of ad.

Second — and this is kind of a side note — when I voted in the primary, Ilene was working as an election clerk. As my ballot was handed to me, Ilene said to me, “You want me to fill that out for you?” She’s funny.

Third, I’m pretty sure the woman sit­ting next to Ilene is Neva Carlisle, state Senator Ron Carlisle’s wife. I recognize one of the other ladies but can’t place her.

Fourth, it’s interesting that the premise of the commercial is that Heidi Heitkamp is a bad person because she’s bought “an­other” negative attack ad against Rick Berg. And that ad is apparently in a newspaper somewhere. (Ilene is holding a newspaper in her hands and apparently referring to it as she talks.) I’d ask this question of Ilene: “What newspaper are you reading?” You say, “Heidi Heitkamp attacking Rick Berg” but nobody I know has seen anything in a newspaper where Heitkamp has “attacked” Berg. Not one ad.

And I’ve asked around, and nobody has seen a single negative newspaper ad from Heidi Heitkamp this year. (For the record, I also haven’t seen any negative ads from her on TV either. You can see all her TV ads — and one snippet of a news show that is not one of Heidi’s ads — on her Youtube page.) All her TV ads have been very, very positive. (My favor­ite, so far, is the football one. It’s very well done.) To the best of my knowledge, Heitkamp’s campaign has not done a single negative ad “attacking Rick Berg” yet. (And he’s given her plenty of mate­rial.) A ll the attacking so far has come from Berg.

So what’s going on here?

Well the ad is a completely disingenu­ous attack ad. Heitkamp has done no negative advertising, but that’s only half of it. Berg has actually voted twice — yes TWICE — for the exact same Medicare savings his surrogates, in this ad, criti­cize Heitkamp for supporting. For Berg to criticize Heitkamp for her view on those same Medicare savings he voted for — twice — is textbook hypocrisy. It’s the kind of hypocrisy that got Republicans “two Pinocchios” from the Washington Post, which the Post defines as “Sig­nificant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people.” Two Pinocchios is apparently the best we should expect from Berg.

Why has he done this? Well, you’ll notice all the surrogates in the ad are women, right? That’s no accident. Ac­cording to the ValleyNewsLive.com poll, Heitkamp is ahead of Berg with women voters by 9 percentage points. Those are some pretty tough numbers for Berg to have to overcome. And we also know Berg has done polling at least twice, and probably three times. He knows he’s in trouble with women voters. Women are going to vote in this election. Berg obvi­ously needs to do something dramatic to carve away at Heitkamp’s sizeable lead with women. In his first ad, the mother of one of Congress’ most wealthy multi-mil­lionaires talked about how she can’t make ends meet without her Social Security check. That probably appealed to some women and wasn’t so bad. But dishon­esty like this? I’m sorry to see my friend’s mother dragged into it. I’ll be surprised if women voters are fooled by all of it.

Lastly, where in the heck was this com­mercial shot? Two of the women in the ad are from Bismarck, but — for the life of me — I can’t figure out what cafe that might be in the BisMan area. Can any­body else ID it? And who are those other two ladies?

See the ad and read more at http:// www.northdecoder.com/Latest/rick-bergs-latest-attack-ad.html#comments. More from Chet at NorthDecoder.com

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