The EFM Feature

There’s been a lot of discussion over the past day over whether Governor Romney’s latest ad is any good–artistically or politically. For what little it’s worth, here are my two cents.
I don’t dispute that the ad isn’t perfect. For example, John Hinderaker notes the absence of any specific policy proposals, which is a fair point. However, my initial thought is that we should be asking one simple question: Where’s the bar? Not the beef–the bar. And by that I mean: How good does the first ad on cultural issues have to be in order to be a standout? I think the answer is, not very good. Why is that? Because no one else is really talking about these issues–not even the guy behind whom the evangelical establishment is supposedly lining up. So in order to be the leader, Governor Romney doesn’t have to talk about them perfectly. And to be honest, I don’t think it’s necessarily a problem that he couldn’t get into every nuance in (a) his first ad with (b) 60 seconds to work with. It’s a great first effort, and it’s infinitely more than any other credible candidate is doing.
Oh, and as for the imagery–I am about the least artistically sensitive person in the world, so I have virtually nothing to add here. However, I did think one critique was interesting. I forget who, but somebody basically said that if your candidate is as good-looking as Governor Romney, why not put his mug in the ad? (And I do have it on good authority that our guy is a looker.) Here’s my tentative answer: Because everyone in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina has the whole rest of the campaign to look at him. Maybe throwing a bit of a curveball at this juncture will get people’s attention a little more.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

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