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Our Political Ad Watch club questions the "toughness" of Aaron Bean's latest TV spot

By on July 15, 2012

Aaron Bean is locked in a tough primary versus Mike Weinstein to represent the First Coast in the Florida Senate. So I understand how much sense it makes to play the Jeb card every chance you get. Still, I don’t like the visual juxtaposition of this spot with Bean and Bush captured in completely different settings. I get the feeling Jeb is saying the same thing about a lot of candidates running this cycle, just as Bean’s line, “I’m all in” is a familiar theme in other candidates’s commercials, such as this one for Senate candidate John Legg.

As for the “driving liberals crazy” bit, I’ll leave that to Benjamin Kirby of the Spencerian blog, who writes, “Gosh, Peter, I didn’t know there were still any liberals left in Florida to drive crazy.”

Kirby is kidding. Sort of. He continues:
“This is a nice looking spot from Aaron Bean, and kudos to him for not only landing Governor Bush’s endorsement, but for good utilization of the Governor in the ad.  Bush looks casual, relaxed, is even kind of funny.  The two men are separated, so Aaron’s not tempted to make goo-goo eyes at the Governor while they’re standing together.
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“There are two messages here.  One is, I’m Aaron Bean, and Governor Bush thinks I’m a great guy.  That message is communicated clearly and effectively.
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“I think the Bean Campaign folks may have wasted an opportunity on their second message, which turned out to be I’m conservative!  And, hardy har har, I drive liberals crazy!
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“Is there anyone, even those less engaged in the process, who could reasonably think “liberals” are an impediment to anything related to politics or public policy in Florida?  Our governor is one of the most conservative in the nation.  Our Legislature has a veto-proof Republican  majority.  Even moderate Democrats are sidelined.  Honestly how much longer is the “it’s tough to get things done” message going to resonate?  How much longer can the image of the fictional liberal boogeyman resonate?
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“Guys like Aaron Bean are in charge.  If it’s tough to get things done, it is certainly not the fault of any liberal I’m aware of.
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“I wonder if in their 30 seconds, they might have used the opportunity to instead be more specific about what Bean would do as a State Senator.
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“Give them a B- for a clean, well-done ad with effective use of the Governor’s time, but points off for wasting part of their message.”

Gregory Wilson shares my issues with the production of the spot, including some concern about Bush “phoning-in” his performance.  Wilson makes a couple of additional smart points, including one about the failure to follow-up on what is suppose to be the concept of the commercial.

“The spot is called “Aaron Bean Tough,” but smirking with the ex-Gov about driving liberals crazy doesn’t do much to support the central theme. As a matter of fact, my bet says the thing people remember about this spot is driving liberals crazy. If being tough was the brand Aaron Bean was trying to support, I would say this spot failed him. If driving liberals crazy is the brand, why clutter the spot with all those other concepts? Or call in a Governor from so many years ago?

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“I’ll give the candidate credit for being able to stand before a camera and deliver, but I won’t give much credit to the people who wrote and produced this mediocre commercial. Someone forgot to ask, “what are we trying to accomplish here?”

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