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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 253

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What would be the most cost-effective ad against Romney?

Here are the premises of this thread:

(1) Romney and the neo-GOP will spend more money than President Obama and the Democratic Party this year.

(2) Negative ads are effective.

My conclusion is that we need ads that deliver much more bang for the buck. This thread is for a discussion of such ads, hopefully concrete ideas with rationales as to why they would have punch.

Example ad: Obama versus neo-GOP extremists. My suggestion is that Obama go after specific neo-GOP extremists with the basic argument that "This crazy person is not qualified to be in Congress, but the Democratic opponent is." The obvious targets include Michelle Bachmann, Allen West, and Peter King. The ad should not go deeply into local issues, but would focus on extreme statements. Since Obama wants to be positive, I suggest he also focus on an abstract positive issue that the Democratic challenger can endorse. I think the obvious issue would be overturning Citizens United, but indirectly, in the form of advocating for a Constitutional Amendment stating human rights are more important than corporate rights.

Rationale: If Obama can flip a district from "safe neo-GOP incumbent" to "probable Democratic challenger", then the SuperPACs will respond by pouring money into that district, but it will be impossible to hide the money in a small district, helping to counteract the effectiveness of the money. In addition, Romney will be drawn in and forced to defend the least defensible morons. In brief, attack the weaknesses.

What is your idea for a cost-effective ad? Why do you think it would work? What leveraging factors does your ad have?


(1) This thread is intended to update and replace an older thread on effective ads, http://www.democraticunderground.com/125137926 (after a summary update version did not work).

(2) I actually started a White House petition for that idea of human rights OVER corporate rights. It has obviously failed (see http://wh.gov/OBF3 for the flop), but I'm curious if anyone can explain what is wrong with the idea.

9. Romney versus moderates

Mostly the flip side of linking Romney to the extremists in #8, but more negative and potentially more appealing insofar as most of the moveable votes are with people who regard themselves as moderates.

For whatever it's worth, this is where I used to be, but over the years of watching the neo-GOP evolve and mutate, I've apparently become an extreme moderate--mostly without changing my political beliefs.

As a concrete example in this category, krispos42 had a pretty simple one. Romney walks into a bar and some voters ask him to join them for a drink, but he refuses because he can't drink. The original suggestion was that the voters represent a political spectrum, but I think it's potentially stronger if they just represent moderate people who like to have a drink in the evening--or even a cup of coffee in the morning. (When did the Mormons ban cigarettes? Were they extremists on that one, too?)

7. Romney resembles ultrarich people

Donald Trump? Sheldon Adelson? The Kolk bothers? I think you can see where this is going.

Let me quickly state the obvious that most businesspeople are fine and upstanding folks. They are NOT the ones that are bribing the politicians to rig the game. It is the WORST businessmen, the LEAST ethical businessmen who are bribing the CHEAPEST professional politicians to write the terrible laws. The game of business in America has been rigged so that your company has to grow like a mindless cancer just to survive. Yeah, the cancer always kills its host, but these guys are only thinking in terms of who dies with the most toys.

Spitfire of ATJ wanted to bring the oil companies in here, but I'm not sure how to make the linkage strong. Romney is much more of a puppet of the bankers. However, that suggest the concrete idea for an ad focusing on Romney's income tax returns. I'm working from the premise that there are some really big problems there and that Romney is not going to release any of them. In the absence of Romney's returns, maybe it would be possible to do some ads showing nasty things in the tax returns of other rich people who are supporting Romney, closing the ads with the obvious question "Does Romney do this, too?"

6. Romney versus the middle class

This is probably where Romney is going to be targeting most of his own campaign's official advertising (while the black money SuperPACs go elsewhere). This is also where a lot of Obama's ads have already been going. However, once again I worry that fighting Romney on his own turf dollar-for-dollar is a losing proposition unless our ads are much more powerful or more effectively targeted.

One example in the original thread involved a cartoon of a vulture, noting how Romney's brand of vulture capitalism hurt the middle class. CTyankee and nenahgh also had ideas along these lines, but the anti-Bain ads are already coming from the Obama side. There lyrics for a song on this topic from napkinz, though the original source may have been a website at airfarceone.net.

A suggested ad involving Romney against women seems to fit in here, though the author didn't make the idea very clear.

Another suggested ad for this category involved such things as Romney's comment about the donuts and some of his other rich-boy gaffes.

There was also support for this theme from MissMarple and tokenlib, though I didn't see them linked to specific ad ideas.

5. Romney versus poor people

There were a number of comments in the original thread about specific groups that Romney dislikes. This one got selected because it also shows a lack of charity, but there are LOTS of groups that Romney dislikes and that respond by disliking Romney. I actually think this is fundamentally related to the Mormon thing of disliking non-Mormons except as targets for conversion. That's not really to single out the Mormons, since there are lots of religious groups who make strong distinctions between believers and outsiders--but I confess that I don't like any of them.

There were some explicit suggestions for ads about the limitations of Mormon charity and sort of an argument about whether the Jehovah's Witnesses were worse than the Mormons... There were also some comments by Blue Meany that I tend to shoehorn into this category, but more in the us versus them side. Tough to decide who is most "them" to the Romneys, but poor people are certainly contenders.

A suggested ad in this area was focusing on the Ryan budget came from WI DEM. (Unfortunately, that reminds me of Wi$con$in and California Proposition 29...)

Upon reflection, it seems to me that the main concern for poor people is just helping them vote in spite of the neo-GOP election fraud of the new voter ID laws and restrictions against voter registration, and the old mechanics of helping them get to the polls to cast their votes.

4. Dubya resembles Romney

This category reflects an elephant in the room, the highly toxic residue of the last neo-GOP president, Dubya. The category may have high potential because so many of the establishment so-called Republicans advising, endorsing, and surrogating for Romney were prominent during the Dubya period. Such approaches may be strong with any voters who remember Dubya less than fondly.

I haven't seen any really good examples here, but there are two obvious angles for anti-Romney commercials here. One is direct quotes of Romney saying the same thing as Dubya, perhaps with Dubya speaking first to prime the pump, or perhaps with Romney speaking first to close with the sour taste of Dubya. The other angle is based on the advisers alone, perhaps again with the left-right split screens with the year on top. For example, "In 2006, he said..." plays on the left side, then cuts to the right side "In 2012, he said..." Since these are the same people speaking on the same topics, it should be easy to find close pairs, and of course the goal is to show how retrograde Romney is.

3. Romney resembles Nixon

Easiest to explain this category with a typology. Dubya didn't know the truth and didn't care, whereas Reagan didn't know but did care, sort of. Nixon knew the truth--and HATED it. I'm convinced that Romney belongs in the box with Nixon. When Romney is lying you can often see that he knows full-well that he is lying.

As regards examples, I've already seen one pretty effective one, though it was just a short part of a commercial where Romney was morphed into Nixon.

2. Romney versus Romney

This is my own favorite, but I'm a logical person and I hate liars. Therefore I think it's especially plausible that rational people will be offended by Romney's lies, and self-contradictions are the most basic lies. When Romney contradicts himself, he has to be lying on at least one side, though he sometimes manages both. It is NOT possible for both sides of the contradiction to be true.

My suggested example here would actually be a two-part commercial, but just focusing on the first part of contradictions, the commercial could use a left-right split to show Romney taking one side on the left, then freezing it with a keyword on top, followed by a video of Romney taking the opposite side on the right side of the screen, ending with the opposite keyword. On some issues, Romney has three or more positions that can be contrasted, or you could use dates to show how he flops back and forth.

1. Romney versus Obama

This category was little discussed in the original thread, but I think it corresponds most closely to many of the actual ads that President Obama has been running, and also to most of the Romney ads that are coming directly under Romney's name. I fundamentally don't like this category because it could become a balanced "I said, he said" struggle, but Romney's money will be like a heavy thumb on the balance. Romney's ads never remember to say "This ad is a lie."

Romney as a target for negative ads? And HOW!

This is based on an earlier thread about anti-Romney ads. There are two postulates here: (1) Negative ads work. (2) We need negative ads that deliver more bang for the buck because the neo-GOP has more bucks. Some of these categories put Romney against good things, others link him to bad things.

Which category of ad would you put YOUR money behind?

1. Romney versus Obama
2. Romney versus Romney
3. Romney resembles Nixon
4. Dubya resembles Romney
5. Romney versus poor people
6. Romney versus the middle class
7. Romney resembles ultrarich people
8. Romney resembles neo-GOP extremists
9. Romney versus moderates

In the first set of replies to this post, I'm going to digest the results of the previous thread, along with examples. In your replies, I encourage you to say why you think that type of ad is especially effective and expensive to counter. Also, new examples of powerful ads would be especially nice. Not sure how to handle it if you want to create a new category. The list from 1 to 9 is certainly not exhaustive...

It would be a real poll, except that I am not a "Star Member" and I'm not rich like Romney and his neo-GOP friends. Though I have donated in the past, I'm feeling pretty bleak about the money side now, so... Let me invite anyone who has the power and the desire to create a poll version of this thread... If DU really wants my money, I think they need to offer something like "reverse auction charity shares".
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