A reality based independent journal of observation & analysis, serving the Flathead Valley & Montana since 2006. © James Conner.

4 April 2017

Rob Quist’s first TV ad, University of Montana’s Mary Poppins PR


Rob Quist is finally running television ads. In his first ad, a soft sell 30-second spot named Voice, the raspy-voiced Democrat promises to protect public lands, to “fight for Montana’s ranchers and farmers, not Wall Street banks,” and to fight for “health care we can afford.”

The message is right out of the playbook for re-electing Steve Bullock, adapted for a campaign for Congress.

In public appearances, Quist supports a single-payer health care system. But on his website, he offers the standard formulation of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party:

…make sure all Montanans have access to quality, affordable health care.

Hillary, of course, opposed single-payer health care.

Writing at USA Today, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, used the same formulation:

Our goal is to give every American access to quality, affordable health care.

Republican Greg Gianforte, Quist’s main opponent, promises something similar:

I’ll work to repeal Obamacare and replace it with real solutions that improve healthcare quality, reduce costs, and increase access for Montanans.

Libertarian candidate Mark Wicks (his website is experiencing technical difficulties) says he would “…vote to roll back the Affordable Care Act.” Until his website is operational again, some of his platform’s planks can be viewed at Montana Cowgirl.

Better health care may be Quist’s biggest reason for running — but in Voice, he’s running away from the issue. Which Quist position on health care should we believe? His in-person support for single-payer health care? Or, his website’s and TV ad’s support for “access to quality, affordable health care,” the same phrase employed by Paul Ryan?

University of Montana’s President Sheila Stearns favors the Mary Poppins approach to public relations. According to the Missoulian, she wants members of UM’s community to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t get between the legislature and appropriations to the university:

University of Montana President Sheila Stearns asked members of the campus community Monday to tell positive stories about the flagship – and stop repeating negative ones.

“We are the sum of the stories that we tell each other over and over,” Stearns said.

That advice comes as the Legislature is debating the future of higher education funding.

Stearns needs a public relations team with three wise members. She should consider hiring this squad: