Patterico's Pontifications


Tom Perriello for Congress

Filed under: 2010 Election — DRJ @ 7:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Tom Perriello is a first-term Democratic Congressman representing Virginia’s 5th District. Both Cook’s Political Report and CQ Politics list his re-election race as a toss-up. Here is Perriello’s first campaign ad as an incumbent:

Is this an effective ad?


35 Responses to “Tom Perriello for Congress”

  1. It is effective in a Madison Avenue, polished, funny spot kind of way. But, if you take the trouble to look beyond the humor to the actual substance, all of the jobs he’s bragging about are either government jobs or government subsidized jobs. Nothing in there that will really get our economy back on its feet.

    Anon Y. Mous (38f559)

  2. Cute…but bad message: I will bring taxpayer dollars for phony make-work jobs!

    Patricia (160852)

  3. If I was an average uninformed voter, I’d vote for him. And that’s who this was directed at.

    gahrie (ed7a50)

  4. gahrie is right.

    This is an excellent political advertisement. It is entertaining enough to be watched. It focuses on a central icon, Tom’s face, in a way that I think really helps his image. It gets the idea through that he’s doing some kind of tough work and isn’t afraid to roll his sleeves up.

    He’s doing something. Staying busy. All these details and jobs. I think the idea that congressmen aren’t doing enough, or being counterproductive on the economy, is something smart incumbents will attempt to rebut.

    Of course, it’s a load of crap. This is not real job creation, because private sector growth is hard for a congressman to take credit for. I’d prefer a politician who had an ad saying how his plan and his voting record are for small business owners to pay lower taxes so they can hire more people.

    But this is a memorable ad that most voters will simply remember as Tom working hard and doing something about jobs. The democrats didn’t get this much power by being stupid.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  5. he doesn’t mention bumble at all

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  6. Private sector job growth:
    June 2010 – 13,000 jobs in the entire country.

    Hey! We’re firing on all 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 cylinders now….
    Rats, we just burned the valves on the only good cylinder.

    AD - RtR/OS! (209868)

  7. His looks are against him, poor guy. He looks like the kind of kid I bullied in summer school.

    nk (db4a41)

  8. In CA we have yet to see any positive ads from either side. The Republicans tore each other up during the primaries, now the Dems & Repubs are doing it to each other. This is refreshing from that point of view.

    ManlyDad (060305)

  9. How about a job that creates wealth rather than absorbs it?

    Ag80 (363d6e)

  10. How about if the Democratic Party is eliminated from our lives, and we never need be subjected to their disgusting, evil philosophy again? Does this fool think that what the Democrats have done and are yet poised to do is “cute” or something?

    william wilson (f6deac)

  11. Whoa, William, how about disagreement without the rhetoric?

    A lousy congressman dissing his constituents is nothing more than that. His constituents have a say in the matter, whether we like it or not.

    Ag80 (363d6e)

  12. Ag80 – I have no idea what you mean by that. I can’t watch what these people are doing to my country any more and just be congenial and polite about it. The Democrats are on a scorched earth campaign against everything I know and love, and I want them stopped.

    william wilson (f6deac)

  13. Yeah, it’s an effective ad. It distracts from the actual data. That’s good for Democrats.

    If a person sees this ad 2 or 3 times, then the humor will gradually be less distracting and the viewer (if he/she is somewhat informed) may begin to be more skeptical. But at first? Not a chance.

    Gesundheit (6acc51)

  14. It’s an effective ad as long as you don’t really think about what he’s doing it for:

    • Dairy farms – Subsidizing milk co-ops
    • Landfill – Green jobs
    • Broadband for Schools – “It’s for the Children” while helping the teachers download that porn faster.
    • New Park Trails – Hey, look at me. I’m Eco-friendly.
    • Law Enforcement – Tough on crime while hiring more public employee unions.
    • Bridge Repair & Home Weatherization- Obama Stimulus $$

    Yup, ole Tom hit all the right Dem/RINO buttons.

    John P. Squibob (882a08)

  15. He looks like the kind of kid I bullied in summer school.
    Comment by nk — 6/30/2010 @ 8:27 pm

    — Probably dared to ask you a question while you were walking down the sidewalk.

    Icy Texan (c47747)

  16. Snitched me out for smoking on campus.

    nk (db4a41)

  17. gahrie’s (#3) opinion is on target. What Perriello is selling looks great, just like a subprime mortgage. Now an add explaining it in just that vein ought to be just as effective.

    Courtesy of John P. Squibob’s (#14) list, an ad addressing the reality, which is that Perriello is not creating jobs at all, he is taking out a loans everyday in your name and giving the money to people to do work he prefers done in your community rather than you yourself or your local or state government decide on yourself:

    • Perriello is extending an open a line of credit in your name for Dairy Farmers to draw from every time you buy milk. Is that how you want to buy milk?
    • Perriello issued a loan in your name to your municipality to build a Landfill so your municipality can keep paying their retirees 50% more than you only dream of collecting when you retire.
    • Think you kept your school taxes in check? Think again. Perriello gave them a loan in your name to pay for Broadband for Schools, so now you will have to pay the School Taxes AND Perriello’s loans.
    • Perriello spent money for Park Trails. Lots of money on Park Trails. With loans in your name. In this time of unprecedented deficits he also had to take out a loan to pay interest on the loan he took out in your name to for the Park Trails.
    • More loans for Bridge Repair & Home Weatherization: Two jobs that need to be done and by your local/state governments and by you. You could probably do it if you were a government employee and made 40% more in total salary than you do and didn’t have all those loans Perriello and his predecessors took out for you all these years. Oh, and he didn’t have the money, so he took out a loan in your name to pay for it.
    • When seconds count, Tom Perriello is taking out a loan to hire more and more police officers that will be minutes away. Wouldn’t it be much cheaper if he took out a loan to buy you a gun? (Okay, that one might not work.)

    Tom Perriello does not create jobs. You do. Tom Perriello is in your House, signing away your savings and spending you into poverty to pay people to work until the money runs out. Right now, one half(?) of all loans Tom takes out in your name is to pay for the interest on loans Tom takes out in your name. Like a subprime mortgages, signing the loans are easy. It’s paying off the loans that will kill you.

    Time is running out. Kick Tom Perriello out of your House.

    Dusty (109a16)

  18. Ack! What happened to my formatting?

    Dusty (109a16)

  19. Re: #18. Oh there it is, after I refreshed twice.

    Dusty (109a16)

  20. RE: #17 “Tom Perriello is in your House, signing away your savings and spending you into poverty to pay people to work until the money runs out. Right now, one half(?) of all loans Tom takes out in your name is to pay for the interest on loans Tom takes out in your name.”

    Now THAT was well put. I need to remember that.

    Is that factoid accurate? That half the annual deficit goes to pay interest on the national debt? If so, that’s going to become one of the little tidbits I drop into conversation at every chance I can get.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  21. Somebody needs to make a commercial on this. It would be great! The bewildered homeowner walks in to find his congressman sitting at his kitchen table writing checks. He’s writing checks on the homeowner’s bank account! And he writing checks for stupid stuff that the homeowner doesn’t want! And, “Hey! I can’t afford that!”

    “No problem. We’re just taking out a loan for it. You can have the rest of your life to pay it back.” (Or if that’s not enough, your kids can pay it back for you!)

    Then the shot freezes as the homeowner has thrown the congressman out the door. He’s flying through the air as the voice over encourages us to throw them out of OUR House.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  22. I don’t think its a very good ad. In calmer more normal times it might work, but I think people are fed up with Congress to an extent that attempts to “be funny” won’t go over well.

    Mark Johnson (8c0e33)

  23. Is that factoid accurate? That half the annual deficit goes to pay interest on the national debt? If so, that’s going to become one of the little tidbits I drop into conversation at every chance I can get.

    [Comment by Gesundheit — 7/1/2010 @ 6:46 am]

    Well, I thought about it, and there are two ways to look at it. Obviously, there are deficits so loans are being taken out. Now, how should the loans be apportioned. Either,

    a) No loans on spending for fundamental federal responsibilities and full loans on the rest.
    b) Loans apportioned evenly across the board.

    Suffice it to say, most of the items aren’t really fundamental responsibilities, but maybe bridges if they are federal bridges; local landfills certainly aren’t and neither is weatherization nor broadband in schools.

    But even so, let’s use b) and the back of an envelope to scope this out. What’s the amount of the deficit, equal to the revenue now? If so, then Tom’s taking out loans for half that amount he says he’s spending, that half is interest we don’t have the money to pay so he’s taking out loans for that, too.

    So yeah, it’s a factoid, but it’s accurate.

    Dusty (109a16)

  24. [Comment by Gesundheit — 7/1/2010 @ 6:51 am]

    Actually, I’d rather the family come home to see a long line of ‘suits’ leading (out the door and down the street) to the kitchen and they find Tom negotiating loans with people from all over the world and signing off on the deals using the family’s name.

    Might even want to pre-set that to have the family driving down the street and seeing the same at every house on the street.

    But yeah, it could be a great campaign video.

    Dusty (109a16)

  25. I think a couple of comments have pointed out how the opponents ads should emphasize the government jobs and deficits. Government deficit is the number one concern of most, if not all, focus groups this year. I think that ad sets up the rebuttal. Now, is the Republican smart enough to see that ?

    Mike K (82f374)

  26. Mike K – Some one should look up his opponent and send him this thread. (Or all of us should.)

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  27. It’s cute, but all the jobs seem to be non-productive — the type that consume taxes rather than generate new sources of revenue.

    So the message I get is vote for this guy if you want your kids to grow up to be serfs. No thanks.

    Mark L (1eb0e1)

  28. Many years ago I sold elevator passes to kids like that. Now he is grown up and is selling elevator passes to voters.

    BarSinister (563b23)

  29. As mentioned by prior commenters, this is a good ad for the target audience. It is however, also a good ad for the GOP to dissect in a ad of their own that they play near his. Dusty (above) noted the counterpoints to each of Perriello’s points and these I sure can be woven into a both funny and devastating response (particularly the stepping in dung shot).

    scr_north (44dbef)

  30. I was telling my wife just last night that my hope is there is an even number of dems and reps in both houses, so they continue the good fight and get absolutely nothing done. We (the people) will then be the winner.

    Andy (b63f79)

  31. Dusty’s proposed reaction ad sounds like it could be hilarious and it could be very persuassive.

    Not to be an eeyore, but Tom’s ad works on levels that do not require you to think. You see the smiling jolly self deprecating guy do all this dirty work (that he obviously does not actually do). I think DRJ was hinting that Tom even seems to look down on this kind of work, but that’s besides the point.

    Dusty’s reaction ad has some great imagery, such as the suits for the loans needed, but even then, I worry that Tom looks like he’s doing the tough work somehow. Those who aren’t willing to think about this stuff are going to assume rich people are on the hook.

    I don’t know how to deal with that. Voters need to start strongly rejecting spending because that leads to fewer jobs. 1 Tom job cost more than 1 private sector job. Probably way more than 1.

    I have a hard time coming up with a solution that connects this idea to people who aren’t conservative. Dusty’s ad would work and combined with the anger over the economy, could be more than enough, but I don’t think the GOP’s polling fortune have anything to do with rejection of big government.

    Long term, we have a huge problem because voters love a pleasant and funny visual like Tom’s ad, and some wouldn’t bother to understand Dusty’s (though I bet if funny, they would watch). And they would probably fall asleep or even be irritated if they saw Dustin’s.

    And ultimately, is the GOP even a major shift away from this kind of crap? It’s hard to argue against eating rat poison by endorsing eating roach poison.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  32. I think it is a great ad. Tom comes across as a likable guy, willing to make fun of himself. At the same time it deals with an issue that it is important to a lot of voters (and yes, I know that the govmn’t doesn’t “create jobs,” but obviously given the hacks that routinely get elected to congress a lot of voters don’t).

    Most importantly, look at the free publicity. Here we are on a blog hosted by a guy in S. Cal., talking about an ad for a Virginia congressman, and he didn’t have to spend a nickle to get us all to watch it.

    Roscoe (c63744)

  33. I live in VA 5th which is the district Perriello represents. Highest unemployment rate in the state and things are not looking any better. Any time anything positive happens, Perriello makes sure he is associated with it. He also is a strong supporter of Veterans.

    A lot will depend on Charlottesville. That’s what gave him the election last time. Perriello barely scraped by winning in a recount.

    Perriello votes the Obama agenda, but pretends to be a moderate when he is in the district. The Republican running against him , Robert Hurt, is a state senator and wasn’t the pick of the local Tea parties. I don’t thik he is generating a lot of enthusiasm. Hopefully, the enthusiasm will come from the Tea Parties turning out to defeat Perriello.

    MaxTruth (5581d4)

  34. Thanks, Max. It’s amazing how theses super productive amazingly useful reps tend to come from places full of desperation. Look at Detroit or Baltimore or Chicago and find the politicians who pose as the most productive.


    If it’s that close, I think he’s in big trouble because of turnout. I can’t stand those guys who take credit for everything.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  35. It’s not an effective ad when seen by folks who have risen above costume parties for their edification.

    He plays a nice role, but what does he know about the art and science of governing for the benefit of ALL of the governed?

    Insufficiently Sensitive (8906ed)

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