(Almost) No More Mr. Nice Guy
If you have been paying attention to New Hampshire’s electoral politics over the past week, you’ve probably noticed the remarkable amount of attention being given to Republican Senate candidate Bill Binnie’s new television ad, Jail or Jobs, which mentions former New Hampshire Attorney General and primary opponent Kelly Ayotte by name.
I can’t really call the spot a negative ad, since it doesn’t actually say anything bad about Ayotte. It’s more of a true contrast ad, which attempts to paint Binnie’s strength as job creation, and thus as more appropriate for the current economic climate than Ayotte’s strength, which would be putting people in jail. So, it’s really an extension of Binnie’s earlier biographical ads in its essential claim that his background in business makes him best suited for the job at hand, but at least someone is finally moving to directly engage others within the primary field.
That the ad has gotten so much attention underscores just how tame this particular party primary has been thus far. With less than two months left before the September 14th vote, almost no sharp elbows have been thrown among the group of Republican competitors. Whether this is a result of the candidates” personalities or intentional campaign strategies, the tenor of the race (with its relentless focus on President Obama and Congressional Democrats) makes it difficult for primary voters to draw distinctions between the candidates on any dimension other than personality.
Perhaps that is sufficient for voters to make up their minds, but Binnie’s ad suggests that at least he knows a continuation of the status quo campaign environment would favor Ayotte, who is still the nominal frontrunner. We’ll see if the other candidates come to the same realization and finally engage Ayotte and each other, while they still have a little time left to act.


Posted On: 07-20-2010 10:10:11 by Jim Splaine
I found Binnie's other ads up to this point useful in "introducing" him -- trying to make him seem like the kind of guy with the sort of family you'd like to live next to. He came across like he'd loan you his hedge trimmer if you asked. Now, getting down to "substance," just where is it in his latest ad? HOW is he going to "create" all these jobs? Isn't there a new Senator from Massachusetts who said the same things, and the only jobs he's created are for his staff, and of course the campaign consultants he had hired. Seems the same with Binnie. I think Binnie's choosing "jobs" to emphasize because that's what his pollsters find is on the minds of voters. I think voters deserve better than that.

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