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Candidate with the Pearl Earring

October 25, 2010

This campaign ad from Meg Whitman is noteworthy:

The French Cowboy thinks that this ad might be very effective. It conveys a sense of honesty and makes the best argument in favour of voting for Mme Whitman: A Republican is more likely to effectively change the ways of a near-bankrupt California than a Democrat. In other words, she represents Hope and Change!

One more thing: Doesn’t this ad remind you of those by a certain Republican running for US Senate in Delaware? The black backdrop, black jacket and pearl jewellery; the “Seriously voters, blend out the craze and let me introduce myself to you eye to eye” tone; the “I’m nothing you’ve heard” message; the outsider status as a sales argument; also the sweet piano lullaby in the background — all of this you can find in the Christine O’Donnell ads as well.

Sure, Madame Whitman has not been rumored to be a witch, only a billionaire, hence the different introductory line. And she doesn’t mention that she “didn’t inherit millions”, but instead points out that she’s not “a Hollywood star”. But it looks like the O’Donnell ads contain some ingredients worthy of being copied. And could O’Donnell learn from Whitman’s ad?

Whitman’s personal story is a more attractive narrative than O’Donnell’s. That makes the candidate for governor’s ad more compelling and O’Donnell doesn’t have a personal success story to match Whitman’s. But the Senate candidate and the former ebay CEO share the circumstance that their respective opponent is not exactly a natural when it comes to political charm. This election is “an unhappy choice”? ‘Tell us about it, California!’, Delawarians say. So maybe O’Donnell could make the case that, while they don’t see her (yet) as their dream candidate, she’s still the one who will bring Hope and Change as opposed to the same old-same old politics that Coons represents. To paraphrase Roberta McCain, voters will just have to hold their nose and vote for Christine.


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