If you wonder why GOP candidates are down in the polls, look at their ads

Do you wonder why establishment GOP candidates are down in the polls? Just have a look at their ads.

My favorite is an ad featuring Marco Rubio tossing a football. And answering questions. About football. I suppose he is trying to humanize himself. But he just comes across as a lightweight. And when he fumbles the football I can't help but remember how his main effort in the US Senate was to sponsor a bill calling for amnesty for illegal aliens. He got elected to the Senate, got the ball, ran with it, but the problem is he's running backwards towards his own team's goal line.

Jeb Bush's ad is similarly uninspired. It features Donald Trump talking about murders, crime, stupid people, and the "death" of the American dream. Then it features Jeb talking about making a "bright future" for America.

It's almost as if Jeb is an alien from another planet (perhaps a Latin American planet?) who intercepted an old Ronald Reagan campaign ad from 1984, and tried to reverse engineer it and make a new one without understanding why the old one worked. Reagan's "morning in America" commercials were great, but they were not alone in a vacuum; people already knew that Reagan stood for a strong national defense, free markets, and personal liberty, and his ad was a celebration of what he had already done.

Jeb has no such achievements and the one issue he stands for does not resonate with the electorate as making America great again; he's building on a crooked foundation, and so his ad doesn't work.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is planning to release an ad, which, as described, shows a scorpion in the desert and says

“There’s a scorpion in the desert,’’ an announcer says in the Cruz ad, as the camera shows various angles of the insect and its hooked stinger.

“For most of us, its venom is a clear and deadly threat,” the announcer continues. “But others refuse to even speak its name. Since the scorpion seeks our destruction, isn’t it time we recognize the scorpion for what it is before it strikes again?’’

But the ad doesn't mention what the scorpion is. (Maybe the final version of the ad will--I can only go from the description on the Times site.) It's supposed to be Radical Islam.

This is the problem with Ted's campaign; he hasn't been bold enough with his rhetoric. Instead of beating around the bush (ha ha), he needs to talk specifically of the dangers of radical Islamic Terrorism, and letting in millions of Muslim immigrants.
Ted has been running for months, but I have yet to see a tax plan, a description of what government departments he'd cut, and total silence on whether he'd deport illegal aliens. How did Trump rise in the polls? He took positions in specific issues (well, one issue), and spoke directly and bluntly. Cruz hasn't been doing that, and from what I can see, this ad doesn't either.

Then we come to the best ad, Rand Paul's. It's a pretty good ad, which calls for term limits, cuts in government spending, and insisting that Congressmen read bills before they vote on them. The problem is that Rand Paul doesn't stand for any of these things. Mark Levin accused him of covering up Obamacare fraud in Congress. He's best buddies with Mitch McConnell, who is Obama's lackey in the Senate. He's never tried to filibuster an increase in the debt limit or the chromibus budget bill. It's a great ad only for those people who don't know Rand Paul's record.

Now compare that with Trump's ad showing a listener falling asleep during a Bush lecture. Priceless, and to the point. It wasn't a substantive ad but it got to the point about Bush's character. But I don't see the other candidates running good comparative ads or substance ads. As Yoda would say, "That is why they fail."

(Abridged version originally published in AT)

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