Commentary: Missing The Message In N.H.Play
Radio Boston media analyst John Carroll has been following the pre-primary media action, and says that some of the presidential hopefuls should be glad that most Granite Staters haven't been paying attention. Here's Carroll's take:
What with the GOP debate and straw poll in Iowa last week, New Hampshire has been the Taken-for-Granite State lately. But that's not necessarily a bad thing for the presidential hopefuls campaigning there, since most of their media efforts in New Hampshire have been, well, rocky.
Start with the not-quite ad for the then-not-declared candidate. While Texas Gov. Rick Perry was playing peekaboo with the GOP presidential primary the past few months, an outfit called Americans for Job Security ran online ads in New Hampshire to tout Perry's record on tort reform. Except the ads inexplicably failed to mention Perry's name — and you had to click to a different website to learn about Perry's record. Those aren't good ads — they're half-ads.
Also suffering media mishaps: Texas congressman and quadrennial wallflower Rep. Ron Paul, the only GOP hopeful to run a TV spot so far in New Hampshire. Paul's ad, which mimics a summer movie trailer, blames the democrats past and current debt ceiling increases:
What's most impressive about this spot is that it flunked not one, but two ad watches in the course of 15 seconds. FactCheck.org says President Reagan "had no objection at all to raising the debt ceiling." And PoliticFact.com says back then, Democrats helped Reagan cut spending. So wrong on Reagan and wrong on the Democrats. Can't get much wronger than that. Unless, of course, you misspell Faneuil — as in Faneuil Hall — the way Paul did in one of his mailers.
But even that pales in comparison to this New Hampshire doozie, brought to you by the staff of presidential hopeful John Huntsman. Here's Fox News' take:
Hate when that happens. Let's just hope those staff members remember to vote for their boss on primary day. And in case they were wondering - he's J-O-N Huntsman.
- John Carroll, mass communication professor, Boston University; blogger, CampaignOutsider.com
This segment aired on August 15, 2011.