Meg's problem

by CalWatchdog Staff | May 12, 2010 6:52 am

I admit I’m jaded about political campaigns. I’ve been watching them closely since 1964, when I was nine and supported the great Barry Goldwater against the ogre LBJ[1], who lied his way into re-election with a cynical campaign, especially the infamous “Daisy” ad[2] in which LBJ painted Barry as a warmonger.

Then, after re-election, it was LBJ who shoved America into the “big muddy[3]” of Vietnam, killing 58,000 brave young American boys and 3 million Vietnamese, while bankrupting America and generating the “New Left” opposition that took over and ruined the college campuses, then the whole country. The war was supposed to prevent South Vietnam from being taken over by socialist North Vietnam — even as LBJ himself was imposing socialism on America with his “Great Society” programs.

You’re darn right I’m cynical.

But that’s why I like hearing what young folks say about politics. They have the fresh perspective I once had before I was disappointed, and usually betrayed, by every politician except Ron Paul.

I was at some friends’ yesterday evening for dinner. The TV was on and up came a Meg Whitman ad attacking Steve Poizner for being a liberal on abortion, taxes, etc. I asked my friends’ smart 10-year-old daughter what she thought of the ad.
Whitman -- public domain
“Meg Whitman’s ads attack Steve Poizner, but don’t tell us what she believes in or who she is,” the girl said, adding that she had watched numerous ads by both candidates.

It’s just one impression. Early on Meg did run some ads introducing herself and improving her name recognition. But maybe people weren’t paying attention then, at least not as much as now. Or maybe the ads didn’t make much of an impression beyond surface recognition.

And I know “attack ads” are supposed to work. At least that’s what campaign experts will tell you. And Poizner’s ads mostly are attack ads. (His ads also have improved greatly in content and appearance from that lame one of a car going off a cliff that I criticized weeks ago[4].)

With the campaign tightening — Poizner is just two points behind Meg in one poll[5] — we can look forward to more attack ads from both sides.

But is my young friend right that Meg is missing something here? After all, Meg is a neophyte to politics. I think so. Take it from a 10-year-old: Meg’s campaign is hollow.

— John Seiler

  1. LBJ:,1020,249029,00.jpg&imgrefurl=
  2. “Daisy” ad:
  3. big muddy:
  4. I criticized weeks ago:
  5. in one poll:

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