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

11 April 2017

30 awful seconds on the Rob Quist front

Is Democratic congressional candidate Rob Quist running to denounce the millionaires in Congress — or, is he running to help middle class Montanans? If you pay attention to his 30-second television ads, you’re likely to conclude his highest reason for running is denouncing the millionaires in Congress.

It’s a classic “I’m not him” campaign strategy, the strategy Hillary used in her campaign against Donald.

Thus far, Quist’s advertising agency has produced two 30-second spots. Both begin by reporting there are more than 300 millionaires in Congress. That’s music to the ears of the millionaire hating Butte-Helena axis of Montana’s Democratic Party. But that’s not a song of hope for the Big Sky’s middle class.

His ads are slick. Or, to use the jargon of the advertising industry, his ads have high production values. His campaign so reveres this propaganda that it gives the ads names. The latest is named “Voice.”

After the anti-millionaire spiel, Quist risks a few near generic words about a motherhood and apple pie issue. He closes with an exasperating “I approved this message because….” Note to candidates: it’s best to close simply: “I’m Joe Ginauric, and I approved this message.”

I don’t approve 30-second political ads. They insult the intelligence of voters and undermine democracy.

Just once, I’d like to see a progressive candidate stiffarm the Hollywood consultants and advertising agencies, and employ college students with laptops and iPhones to produce two-minute video ads that make coherent arguments for or against particular policies.

In the meantime, Quist should focus not on what will do to millionaires, but on what he will do for middle class Montanans.