Wel­come back to Ad Watch, our newest spe­cial series, which is run­ning week­ly from now until elec­tion week. The pur­pose of this series is to attempt to cat­a­log, or index, the many cam­paign ads that are going up on tele­vi­sion (and some­times radio) to influ­ence elec­tions in the Pacif­ic North­west. In each install­ment, we’ll briefly describe ads we’ve seen that are being paid for by can­di­dates, bal­lot mea­sure coali­tions, polit­i­cal par­ties, or shad­owy spe­cial inter­ests mas­querad­ing as grass­roots groups, and pro­vide links so you can watch the ads for yourself.

This week in Ad Watch:

  • Obama/Biden 2012 has qui­et­ly released a bru­tal new ad enti­tled My Job that con­sists sole­ly of audio extract­ed from the video Moth­er Jones released of Mitt Rom­ney speak­ing at a fundrais­er for high-roller donors back in May. As Rom­ney dis­miss­es the “forty-sev­en per­cent”, images are shown of fam­i­lies, vet­er­ans, and work­ing men and women with somber or qui­et expres­sions. “I’ll nev­er con­vince them to take per­son­al respon­si­bil­i­ty and care for their lives,” Rom­ney says as the ad ends. The ad is sim­i­lar to a spot Obama/Biden pro­duced back in the sum­mer, titled Firms.
  • Anoth­er Obama/Biden ad released this week is called Table. It’s long — it clocks in at two min­utes — and its star is the pres­i­dent him­self, dis­cussing his fair­ly mod­est goals for a sec­ond term. It is report­ed­ly set to run in bat­tle­ground states, but it may also be seen on cable chan­nels here.
  • Rob McKen­na’s newest TV spot (We Need Jobs) is quite pos­si­bly the weak­est ad his cam­paign has released so far. It awk­ward­ly and uncon­vinc­ing­ly claims Jay Inslee stands for “more gov­ern­ment, more tax­es, and more lost jobs” … with­out even both­er­ing to lev­el any spe­cif­ic charges against Inslee.

Nei­ther Maria Cantwell nor Michael Baum­gart­ner’s cam­paigns have unveiled new ads since the sum­mer. Per­haps they’re keep­ing their pow­er dry until Octo­ber — though if you ask us, that does­n’t make too much sense, because the air­waves are only get­ting nosier and more crowded.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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