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: Sarah Palin reminds us she exists and Romney goes after Santorum.
The Ad: Sarah Palin, "Chords of Memory"
The Issues: Abraham Lincoln, America and the restoring of it, Ronald Reagan
The Message: Though she's not running for anything as far as we're aware, Palin has released this timely President's Day video scored to a speech she gave in Springfield, IL, where thousands of people flock every year to rifle through Abe's old things. While doing some rifling of her own, Palin found an old speech or something of Lincoln's and so wove those "chords of memory" into the fabric of her own stilted pontificating about God-blessed America and how we have to restore it because I guess God's blessings have worn off a bit or something. The point is: Hey, guys, remember Sarah Palin? Because she'd really like you to remember her and give money to her PAC. A handy way to remember her is that, according to this video at least, Sarah Palin is the second coming of Ronald Reagan.
Who It's For: People who forgot about Sarah Palin, people who like to be reminded about Sarah Palin, possibly Ronald Reagan's ghost
What Everyone Else Thinks: Most of this can't be Lincoln quotes, right?
The Effect: Yes, we are now reminded of Sarah Palin's existence! And of that time we went to Springfield and it was very hot and kinda boring and, oh man, the rest of that city is not very nice, is it? Poor Lincoln, having to live there and now everyone's tromping through his house, just so sad. Sorry, who or what were we talking about again? Michele Bachmann? I think we were talking about Michele Bachmann. C
The Ad: Mitt Romney, "America is Drowning" (Watch the unembeddable ad here.)
The Issues: Debt, Rick Santorum, Earmarks
The Message: So you guys just looove Rick Santorum right now, huh? Even more than ol' cardboard Mitt? Well guess what, Mitt has Rick dead to rights on USING EARMARKS for his native Pennsylvania. Yup, Santorum proudly admits to earmarking. Mitt would never do that. No, he's going to slash the entire budget. He's not going to spend a damn dime. If it's not worth borrowing money from China for, then forget about it. Simple as that. So, sure Santorum might stir some fire in your religious loins, and yeah maybe Romney's a strange lizard robot who thinks poor people are no better than common street vermin, but Santorum did earmarks. Done. Case closed.
Who It's For: Everyone Mitt had a few weeks ago but now seems to have lost.
What Everyone Else Thinks: Didn't Romney basically have "Obamacare" in Massachusetts? (Yes, Mitt, they're still thinking that.)
The Effect: Nothing new here. It might annoy some of Romney's rich friends that Santorum tried to funnel money to his state, but that's sort of the job of a senator (in a Ted Stevens-y kinda way, at least), so Santorum fans probably won't find fault there. This ad basically accomplishes nothing. D