April 16, 2012

Let's review the newest ads in the Wisconsin recall race.

Tom Barrett — the Milwaukee mayor who is running in the Democratic primary — has an ad in which state senator Jon Erpenbach — who, we hear, "helped lead the fight" in the "war" that Scott Walker started —  does all the talking:

We see pictures of the protesters filling the state capitol rotunda. Erpenbach is being used to vouch for Barrett's fidelity to the ideals and agenda of the protesters.

Next is Kathleen Falk — the former Dane County executive, also running in the Democratic primary:

Like Barrett's ad, this one begins with a black and white photograph and a female voiceover. Barrett had a picture of mean-looking Scott Walker and an unnamed script-reader telling us about the "war in Wisconsin." Falk's ad has a super-cute picture of Falk as a little girl, and the voice is Falk's — she grew up in Milwaukee and Waukesha county. There's tinkling piano music. Then we see, in color, Kathleen Falk, sitting in a warmly sunlit room, her hands clasped around a warm yellow mug. She's murmuring about "simple Wisconsin values" — "work hard, be honest" — "trust," "truth." She brings people together: "That's the Wisconsin way."

Isn't the comparison interesting? Barrett — over there in Milwaukee — needs to connect himself to the protests in Madison, and he employs the handsome Erpenbach to assure us he's down with the struggle. Falk — who really was here during the protests and is a Dane County politician — relocates herself to Milwaukee and Waukesha, Barrett's neck of the state. There are no views of the protests or even of anyplace that reminds us of Madison. She represents "Wisconsin values" and "the Wisconsin way," which "our leaders" have "lost sight of." She doesn't even name Scott Walker.

Here's Doug La Follette. He's Wisconsin's Secretary of State, also running in the Democratic primary. He begins with a little mechanical cow, representing Wisconsin. It used to work, but it has stopped working, "because Scott Walker has betrayed the Wisconsin idea." The mechanical cow walks, then stops walking, at which point we see some unpleasant-looking protesters:

"It's time for a steady hand," says the voiceover, as we see La Follette's hands winding up the little cow and sending it to continue walking again. Okay.

The other candidate in the primary is Kathleen Vinehout, who's a state senator. Here's her YouTube channel, which doesn't seem to have any ads. I started looking at this video, because it seemed like the closest thing to an ad over there:

When I clicked through to get the code to embed that video, I saw it had "0 views"! I was the first view on that, which I'm not really even sure she wants people to see. She's giving a speech in some dark bar or casino-like place. I don't know if anyone is listening, but at 1:12, somebody off-camera drops something metallic. A pan, perhaps. Apparently, La Follette's campaign is just not modest enough to embody Wisconsin values. Undercutting the minimalism of La Follette — it's not easy!


Quayle said...

Do Wisconsin bond holders have a secured interest in that cow?

Palladian said...

I bet the Clockwork Cow was made in China.

MadisonMan said...

You know, I don't like seeing ads on TV. So why should I watch them here?

Rabel said...

Still zero.
Counter off, not working?

Had to mute it though.
Ya'll talk funny up there.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Joke candidates with joke ads. Who would of guessed?

AprilApple said...

"It's time for a steady hand"...to pluck money out of the wallets of hard working families and hand it over to the unions. That's the Wisconsin way.

Ann Althouse said...

"You know, I don't like seeing ads on TV. So why should I watch them here?"

Because here you are invited to watch them with a critical eye and to discuss them analytically.

When they are on TV, you are simply the subject of manipulation, which you properly resist.

Here, you have the opportunity to dissect the manipulation that is done to your fellow citizens and to reinforce your own resistance to manipulation.

garage mahal said...

I read that they figure any live body will get 46% of the vote against Walker. That sounds about right.

Then there is this: John Doe probe looms over Walker's recall election. Will Chisholm drop the hammer before June 5?

edutcher said...

Whoever did Vinehout's ad forgot you yell, "Lights!", before, "Camera! Ation!".

And she looks (what you can see of her) like a chunky Rachel Maddow.

Falk's campaign is using Michele Bachmann's primary run as a template, I see.

And I suppose LaFollette thinks that pic of him shaking hands with Tip O'Neill is a good idea.

PS Was Erpenbach "leading the fight" when he was hanging out with the girls who hung out at the Tilted Kilt?

Roger J. said...

Damn--even worse than the republican presidential primary candidates! On Wisconsin!!!

Paul Zrimsek said...

If they were going to make Wisconsin a Clockwork Cow, they should also have thrown in a bit about how Walker and his droogs are giving working families a malenky bit of the old ultra-violence.

James said...

I've shared this link to Mother Jones before but I'll do it again because in my opinion its quite instructive. In the interview, the WI Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski clearly outlines their recall strategy: He Lied to the People of Wisconsin.

And you could see the main themes: (1) the John Doe investigation, and (2) some nebulous "war on women/Wisconsin" constantly repeated here by people like garage. Apparently he doesn't realize by repeatedly accusing Walker he's actually inoculating him against any [possible charges.

The John Doe investigation has gone on for 24 months and despite garage's claims they haven't tied anyting to Walker.

EDH said...

Hmm, where have I seen Kathleen Vinehout before?

Oh yea, that's where!

MadisonMan said...

I'm trying to ignore the fact that the Democrats are pushing sub-optimal candidates at me. Kathleen Falk's voice and mannerisms just grate on my nerves. It's like she's trying to be oh-so-earnest, and it fails (for me) miserably. Her fake hair doesn't help. (It doesn't help Tommy either)

Is Jon Erpenbach really that short? Or is Barrett that tall? Or is it a strange camera angle at the end?

The Erpenbach ad seems geared for the primary, reassuring voters that Barrett will do just as much as Falk is saying she'll do for Unions, without Barrett actually having to say it, so his words can't be used against him in the General Election.

Fen said...

Faulk: work hard, be honest

says the woman who prostituted her candidacy out to the Unions.

She has promised them that, in exchange for their support, she will restore the scam of Unions laundering taxpayer dollars back into Democrat campaign coffers.

traditionalguy said...

The threat is always there. Do as we say or we will occupy the Capitol and shut down the elected government. That is fascism 101.

Falk uses a lighter feminine touch. Barrett uses a traditional heavy masculine authority. But they both use the threat of civil disobedience that they offer to quell provided that voters obey them. They offer either the masculine Protection Racket or the feminine Protection Racquet.

Fen said...

He Lied to the People of Wisconsin.

He didn't. The Unions knew exactly what he would do. They even passed out campaign flyers last election warning their proles.

But hey, if "lying" is the new standard, lets recall Obama.

Mr. Forward said...

You want an effective, modest, minimalist ad with Wisconsin values the candidate should hide behind the Muskie he caught.

alan markus said...

I like the La Follette clip at about 11 seconds - guy on a Allis-Chalmers tractor holding sign "Made In Wisconsin By Union Workers". (Wonder if that was the farmer that was arrested for driving after revocation?).

Anyway, like the plastic cow probably made in China, Allis-Chalmers tractors haven't been made in Wisconsin for several decades now. In fact, they haven't been made anywhere for several decades.

James said...

Fen, the irony is that while claiming that Walker lied, the Dems/unions aren't basing their campaigns on restoring collective bargaining even those that's what they initially claimed the recall was about.

"Democratic Party of Wisconsin downplayed the importance of the anti-union provisions in Walker's "budget repair" bill in the Democrats' broader recall strategy. "Collective bargaining is not moving people," says Graeme Zielinski, a Democratic Party spokesman."

So in countering Walker's "lies" they themselves are lying.

garage mahal said...

The John Doe investigation has gone on for 24 months and despite garage's claims they haven't tied anyting to Walker.

How would you know? Walker seems to think they have something on him.

Kit said...

Is Jon Erpenbach really that short? Or is Barrett that tall? Or is it a strange camera angle at the end?

Barret is that tall - about 6'8", I think.

RonF said...

Apparently, La Follette's campaign is just not modest enough to embody Wisconsin values.

Gotta disagree with you there, Ann. As an Illinois resident who loves the outdoors I've spent a fair amount of time in Wisconsin. It seems to me that sitting in a bar running your mouth embodies the very essence of Wisconsin values.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I've heard of the Insane Clown Posse but this is the first time I've seen them in action.

Michael Haz said...

Notice how none of the Dems are willing to discuss how they would have solved the budget problem?

Notice how none will discuss what their budget will look like if he or she is elected?

They are running because of Act 10, right? Then why no discussion of Act 10, other than promising the unions that mandatory dues will once again be the law for government employee union members?

There weren't many pro-recall demonstrators at the Tea Party rally Saturday. Even the demonstrators know that it's over - Walker will win.

ADDED: Did you notice how the Barrett commercial doesn't mention that Milwaukee's bond rating was just lowered? Nice job, Mr. Mayor.

Peter said...

The only "war" in Wisconsin is the war the public-sector unions are waging to protect their vision of "good government jobs"-- ones that pay above-market salaries yet require little if any accountability.

Their allies, the Democratic Party, are subsidized foederati in the unions' empire. But they are not the leaders in this war, they are merely subservient allies.

Chuck66 said...

Did Angry Vinehout's ad mentioned that she is from Illinois and her husband was a Blago advisor?