January 1, 2008

I'm not going to run this negative ad... here, watch it.

Everyone's laughing — including the reporters in the room — over Mike Huckabee's "Enough Is Enough" news conference in which he said he'd pulled a negative ad campaign and then showed the ad, presumably intending that the reporters report both his loftiness and the ad. Huckabee is a bit of a neophyte, and he hasn't quite worked out exactly how dumb we are.

Okay, so they're not that dumb...

ADDED: Video:

12 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'm glad you posted this. If you hadn't, Doyle would have claimed that it never existed. You know how cynical commenters are.

George said...

So, wait...The NYT video shows everything but the ad.

Its reporter gets to see the ad, but we don't.

I guess we're not old enough to see it.

Ålso, neither my local paper nor the NYT has run an analysis of the two video clips of Bhutto's assassination. Maybe they don't have the rights to the images, but still...they can't write about the videos?

Tim said...

"Okay, so they're not that dumb..."

Yeah, they probably are not quite as dumb as the average Arkansas voter who gifted us Bill and Senator Hillary! Rodham Clinton, First Lady (Ret.)...

peter hoh said...

I was for the ad before I was against the ad.

Sheepman said...

Huckabee is a bit of a neophyte, and he hasn't quite worked out exactly how dumb we are.
Good line.

It's a fine line to distinguish. I thought Bill C. had crossed it when he claimed that he should have listened to HRC in regards to Rwanda while he was POTUS. But I haven't seen any negative fallout from that.

P. Rich said...

Maybe Huck secretly admires the Clinton "attack then deny" strategy. Only problem is, he forgot to have a staffer do the dirty deed.

dogood said...

Your thesis in this post has been shot down, no? If the laughing reporters and you have concluded that Huck was cynically attempting to 'get the ad out there'...then where's the ad? The point you made later, that the perennial anti-negative-campaigning pieties are stupid--that makes sense. But it'd be nice if you could show awareness that the earlier point was incorrect.

The entire text of Huckabee's statement is available here.

the wolf said...

dogood, I think Huckabee's strategy was to have the reporters carry the water for him and they didn't comply. I mean, if Huckabee wasn't attempting a backhanded way to get the ad out there, why call a press conference to call attention to it in the first place? Why not just pull the ad and keep his mouth shut?

hdhouse said...

oh boy. let's vote for this guy.

dogood said...

Thanks Wolf--I think if your comment is rebutted in the Slate piece I linked to. I mean, Huck didn't even provide audio to the press. If he'd wanted it leaked out, he could easily have done so, no? and he'd certainly have had the audio cued, wouldn't he have? Yes, his statement had a sanctimonious sound, but I think the current Huck-pillorying is the result of a misunderstanding.

Beth said...

That's my new take on Huckabee--we're not that dumb. This goes back to Ann's post from a couple of days ago, where Huckabee insists that even while he spends lots and lots of time talking politics from the point of view of a preacher, he promises us he really won't be preacher in chief. Sure, Mike. We're not that dumb!

John Stodder said...

It's irritating how Huckabee and some of the more credulous members of the press don't understand this basic fact about marketing: Paid advertising, and this nebulous thing called PR are only different tactics. Huckabee didn't decide to stop negative campaigning. He just switched strategies, and thus switched tactics to fit his new strategy. If this was a move driven by Huckabee's epiphany about negative campaigning, he could have just cancelled the news conference, instead of what he did, holding it, showing the ad, handing out copies of the ad and then making a pious speech.

The fact that this particular PR stunt backfired doesn't make it any less of a PR stunt. The "Slate" guy who detects sincerity is either himself being insincere, or is clueless.

This is very similar to what Hillary Clinton tried to do with Obama, with her whispering campaign about an unspecific sleazy allegation about her opponent...that she's just too good of a person to use. That tactic backfired when one of her operatives got overeager and started talking about cocaine, but if there'd been more discipline, it might've worked.