Ad wars in Florida not just money, ads

Ad wars in Florida not just money, ads

 They couldn’t work without an element of verite.

Talking Points Memo runs this piece on Florida today, reporting that Romney forces are outspending Gingrich forces there five-to-one.

“The Dems think these figures suggest something else: that it’s not Romney who’s winning votes in Florida, but the size of his wallet. ”

Point taken. However, these trend lines should not be over-simplified.

Certainly money has a devastatingly corrosive effect in politics. So do infamous ad campaigns–Willie Horton, the Osama bin Laden attacks on Max Cleland in Georgia, etc. This writer opposes on constitutional grounds any notion that a) money is speech, or b) corporations are persons.  The effect of the unanswered ads against Gingrich in Iowa is now part of the history of election 2012.

But the success of that ad campaign went beyond money. The ads were devastating because they showed Gingrich in live and still footage doing things he actually did, because they revived press accounts of Gingrich’s actual deeds.

Romney ads are not the only ones playing in Florida. As another local source points out, pro-Gingrich ads are running every ten minutes in Miami, in rush hour–in Spanish. The line is always the same. The ads attack not Romney but Obama.

“Same ad.  The ad attacked only Obama–the theme was broken promises–jobs, housing. ”

At a guess, it is aimed at Hispanics facing either foreclosure or pink slips, or who know someone who does face either one, betting the farm that the voters will blame the president and will see Gingrich as the GOPer best poised to oppose the White House.


It is hard to imagine Gingrich flying high in the Latino demographic. This has less to do with Cuba than with how he comes across–as disrespectful and presumptuous. Aiming over Romney’s head at the Rose Garden is liable to look much the same way, as far as I can tell.

‘Broken promises’ looks to be the line against Obama in the general election, at this point. They must be hoping for an awful lot of amnesia, even more than usual, given the state of the economy at the end of the GWBush administration and the GOP opposition to every improvement since.

One big question about election 2012 right now is whether the amnesia will be facilitated, or how much, by news media predisposed to a ‘close election’.

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