Since last Thursday, I have not watched much cable news. It’s too damn depressing and just a little frightening. Steering clear of the round-the-clock speculation has been the right choice. I remember feeling angry during the Bush Jr. years, but I never felt as disconnected and confused by the actions of my own government in the name of making me safer. I don’t feel safe. Do you? I haven’t felt safe for three years, but I just keep going.
I was happy to discover this morning that Pete Buttigieg has released four brand new campaign ads, each targeting early-voting states. Not only do these spots remind me that.. a.) there is hope on the horizon… b.) I have chosen to support the best Democratic candidate in the field… and, c.) Pete’s confidence and mastery of the issues is not a well-constructed shell game… but they also allow me to remember that I need to just keep going. I think it’s what we all need to do. Just keep going. It’s not hard to spread the word about a candidate I trust, and imagine our country living under his guidance. I can’t remember the last time I actually admitted to trusting a political candidate. But I trust Pete Buttigieg. So I just keep going.
I hope you’re all taking it easy on yourselves right now. This is an endurance race, after all. One day at a time. We can right this ship.
Below, you’ll find the four new Pete spots, along with a voting app at the end. You can check the results afterward. If the winning commercial is “Julian Castro Pops By to Visit Elizabeth Warren At Her House and She Makes Tea While Sharing With Him the Valuable Lessons She’s Learned About America in Selfie Lines,” please contact the CIA immediately and tell them my election has been hacked.
This looks to be a solid campaign ad to run in Iowa ahead of the caucuses. It’s no mistake that this is the only one of the four that introduces Pete as “Indiana Democrat,” emphasizing his midwest roots.
Pete’s primary focus here in on the income gap, promising to go after corporations not paying their fair cut of taxes, in favor of the guy who has to get up in the morning and scrape off his windshield to go to his FIRST job. I can really relate to that. Of course, I don’t have two jobs. In fact, I don’t even have one job. But since I re-located to Oregon from Los Angeles, I have been confronted with ice covering my whole car in the morning, and it’s been difficult for me. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. The first time it happened, I tried wiping it off with an old sock, but that didn’t work. So I just got inside, closed the door, and pretended I was an Eskimo until the sun finally came out. and I could see through the windshield enough to get to Blimpies. People tell me, “Gary, you need a scraper in Oregon!” But instead, I just sleep in later.
One thing Pete does very well is address his intentions directly into the camera and make people feel like he’s actually standing right in front of them, speaking only to them. It’s a potent amalgam of disarming natural charm, Indiana courtesy, and the conviction of a man who believes his own words. It’s a gift none of the other candidates possess like he does.
We get a glimpse of the “New Hampshire for Pete” logo in one of the shots behind Pete. Is this a coincidence? I think touting his service to the country, in both government and the armed forces, will play well in the Granite State. And I love the line, “I’ve seen what we can achieve when we have each other’s backs.” I hope he repeats that sentiment at the next debate. The time is right.
Stray Observation: The woman at the 17-second mark is wearing a “Young and the Restless” t-shirt. Clearly, someone made her cover it with a Pete sign, but no one’s gonna tell her she can’t get in a shout-out to Victor and Nikki after everything they’ve been through!
Who doesn’t love a campaign ad with a double meaning? Makes you feel really smart when you catch it. Here, Pete wants you to know you can hold on to your private medical plan until you’re READY for his “Medicare for All Who Want It.” But Pete is also READY to lead this nation. See how that works? Now, you might think I’m being silly to point out something that seems so obvious, but I didn’t realize until a week ago that that bundled-up CGI turkey in those Chantix stop-smoking commercials was meant to suggest going “cold turkey.” Get it? Because I didn’t. Months of watching that damn bird shiver in his big swimming pool, shiver at his private beach, or shiver while visiting New York, and the only thing I got from it was that I needed that turkey’s financial advisor.
It’s not news that Pete still has work to do introducing his campaign to voters of color. I hope all of us are helping make that happen wherever we see the opportunity.
What we have seen repeatedly in this past year is that Pete Buttigieg always rises to the occasion. When there’s work he sees needed to be done, he doesn’t make excuses for why he can’t do it. He just puts his head down and gets to work. He’d rather prove himself a hard worker than a miracle worker.
As I’ve already said, I believe the disconnect some talking heads (*cough– Joy Reid*) suggest Pete has with voters of color is over-stated. Not one person of color has cast a vote yet, so does anyone really know for sure?
That being said, I think the approach in this commercial is solid and smart. It doesn’t take for granted that viewers already know anything about Pete. And instead of Pete delivering the message himself, it’s delivered by African-Americans who actually live in South Bend, reflecting on their mayor’s accomplishments in tackling poverty, minimum wage and job creation.
So… which new Pete campaign ad is your favorite? I’m gonna go ahead and put my chips on “Only Way” because it references Pete’s military experience, has the line about watching each other’s backs, Also, Pete’s looking right at me, with that disarmingly handsome face, Plus… soap opera fan! They generally exhibit a level of commitment we could all aspire to.