As the Republican primary season rumbles on, there can only be more campaign ads. Which ones succeed? Which fail? In Ad Watch, we review them as they come out. Today: Some shocking allegations against Jon Huntsman and some mild insult hurling at Mitt Romney.
The Ad: "Jon Huntsman's Values"
The Issues: Jon Hunstman's patriotism, Red China
The Message: Though this technically isn't a real political ad, it's just some YouTube video made by "NHLiberty4Paul" (remember: No real Ron Paul supporters are wacko! That has been fully disproven!), but given the blur between campaign ads, Super PAC ads, and -- especially in the case of Paul -- grassroots ads, it's tough to say precisely what is a "real" campaign ad. This one's getting as much attention as more official ones, so we're going to count it anyway. The basic gist is this: Because Jon Huntsman lived in China and speaks Chinese and adopted Chinese and Indian babies (or did he really adopt them???) he is secretly loyal to China, actually he basically is Chairman Mao, so independent-leaning Republican voters should vote for Ron Paul, not ol' Jon "Mulan" Huntsman over there. Shine on, you not at all crazy there's no such thing as crazy Ron Paul supporters diamonds!
Who It's For: The lone weirdo that made it. Maybe his mom. Other lone weirdos.
What Everyone Else Thinks: Oh man, when is that remake of Red Dawn ever gonna come out?
The Effect: There's lots to think about in this video, like "How does someone who thinks speaking Chinese makes you Communist know how to make a YouTube video and I don't?" and "Where is this music from? Did they just Google 'Chinese music'?" But ultimately it's a bit too homemade to really be effective. A+/F-
The Ad: Newt Gingrich, "Timid vs. Bold"
The Issues: Romney's economic plan, Gingrich's experience
The Message: Though he just spent a night in Iowa whimpering about all the meanies and their mean ads, two days later Gingrich's people have rolled out this ad attacking Romney and calling him a cowering sissy who will never beat Obama. And, obviously, that's the sole purpose of this entire election — this is not a race to become president, it is a race to stop Barack Obama from being president. So yeah, Romney's a nancy boy but Newt Gingrich, well hello sailor, what a dynamo!
Who It's For: People who really just want Obama out of office.
What Everyone Else Sees: Too little too late from Gingrich, and an ounce of hypocrisy given that Gingrich was just talking about attack ads.
The Effect: We'd imagine that the phrase "won't defeat Barack Obama" is a chilling one for some (many, perhaps), so Gingrich scores some effectiveness points for that. But otherwise this 30-second spot really says nothing in particular, just that The Wall Street Journal once called Romney timid and that Newt Gingrich likes welders and a gal named Lindsey's floral shop. More specificity, Newt! If you're gonna hurl mud, be sure to get a nice substantial clump of it. C