Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cable cars? Dim sum? Willie Brown?

"San Francisco values" is one of those great political phrases that apparently never needs to be defined to be employed effectively. Presumably, it scares the bejeezus out of midwestern white voters, so Republicans use it promiscuously in attack ads.

Here's just such an ad, put together for U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) as an attack on challenger Kay Barnes, the Democratic mayor of Kansas City. This, I'm pretty sure, is what Missouri Republicans think San Francisco looks like:

It would have been a lot of fun to be an actor in this ad. The image of the black guy in the cowboy hat "dancing" with two women to a low-grade disco beat has to be one of the least San Francisco things I've ever seen. It looks more like the Thompson Twins teaching lambada at a retirement home in the late 80s.


lidzville said...

This stuff drives me batshit, but it also reminds me how the GOP´s own stupidity will keep them from flipping most of northern california their way any time soon. Once the boomers die, and the fucking summer of love with them, though, look out.

Anonymous said...

I could be your only Republican reader...
Looks more like a San Francisco promotion of polygamous marriage than same-sex marriage?
Interesting, too, that they chose a black male actor to be the cowboy and not a white male.

Oh, the subtleties of advertising. Or Not.

Is there a way to measure effectiveness of a particular campaign ad or does it fall under the category of "do campaigns matter anyway?" subset? I'd be curious if anyone really bought into this ad and made voting decisions based on it or if it really had any sway with voters at all. Wouldn't even Middle America find that ad a little bizarre...?

Seth Masket said...

I don't know who made this ad, but most campaign ads are made on a very small budget without a ton of research backing them. I could see the session going something like this:

Director: Okay, this is an ad about San Francisco values. So everyone act like it's San Francisco!
Actor: You mean, like, gay? Should I make out with a guy?
Director: Perfect! No, wait, we can't do that -- it would scare our voters. Just do the other stuff they do in San Francisco.
Actor: I've never been there. What do they do? Eat Rice a Roni?
Director: You know, they act all, strange, but without all the gay stuff.
Actor: What do you mean, strange?
Director: Um, like a black guy with a cowboy hat! And a white girl with a new wave hairdo! That's strange!
Actor: Okay. Do they also dance real weird, like this?
Director: Yeah, try that.

AnnM said...


What does Lidzville mean? that boomers are what's keeping northern cali from flipping republican?

Seth Masket said...

Lidzville could answer this himself, but I guess he's saying that given all the concentrated wealth in the Bay Area, there are a chunk of potential Republican voters there. What keeps the region so loyally Democratic are the boomers who still pine for RFK and have memorized Mario Savio's speeches and listen to Judy Collins and Joan Baez in their Priuses.