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Richardson Ads Clever. But Not Presidential


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May 11, 2007

Richardson Ads Clever. But Not Presidential

David Kiley

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign has launched a couple of new ads that it’s put on www.Youtube.com and his website. These ads are very out of the ordinary for presidential campaigns, and differ markedly from those of Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

The Richardson ads have the Governor applying for a job as president, sitting across the desk from a typical numbskull interviewer, portrayed as refugee from The Office. The interviewer is going over Richardson’s resume, which is easily the most extensive of any of the current Presidential candidates: Governor, U.N. ambassador, Energy Secretary and four time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. In one of the two spots, the interviewer suggests Richardson is over qualified to be President.

In another spot Richardson’s accomplishments as New Mexico Governor are reviewed in the interview: job creation, raising teacher’s pay, etc.

The ads can be viewed at www.billrichardsonforpresident.com

It’s a very different approach from most political ads, which tend to be anthem and issue oriented, or negative against an opponent. But ads at this stage of the race should, I think, also make the candidate look Presidential. None of the candidates has ever been more than a Senator, Governor or Congressman. Okay, we do have one former First Lady, too.

And for purposes of fund raising and generating some excitement, these candidates have to start looking like they could be leader of the free world. Like it or not, presidential politics and campaigning is a lot about casting.

The media and the public are casting directors. That’s why former Senator Jim Gravel will never be president, and why Senator Sam Brownback will never garner more than low single digit support. People can't envision such men striding into a room to the tune of “Hail To The Chief.” Indeed, none of the GOP candidates who said a few weeks ago that they don't believe in evolution has a shot. I’ll hazard a guess and say that if George Bush had had that question in 2000, Al Gore would have been the 43rd president.

These ads by Richardson will get him some time on the media. I suspect CNN and MSNBC have already run them, or soon will. Getting attention is important. But so is looking like a President. And Richardson still has to work on that.

11:30 AM

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