What Gordon Smith really means...

In a "pop-up" video produced by Merkley for Oregon, you can learn what Gordon Smith is really thinking when he's blathering in his latest ad.

Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    It's a great idea, and I was very hopeful when I clicked on it, but it's not particularly well executed. Could we get some cleverness into the mix, please, for our standardbearer?

  • (Show?)

    Maybe they could get that Steve Novick guy to write them some snappy dialogue.

  • (Show?)

    How about they simply hire a good ad agency like Eichenbaum, instead of the stock footage factory they're currently using?

  • (Show?)

    I don't want to turn this into a giant piling-on session -- that wasn't my intention -- but seriously, guys, Merkley for Senate is really going to have to step it up more than a notch or two. And soon, please, while there is still some time.

  • Mike Austin (unverified)
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    It's a great start. It's good to take the offensive against the Repugs and it's even better to turn their own words against them.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    As a Novick supporter who is still depressed, I don't qualify as an objective observer. But this ad seems very unprofessional, both in its execution and its substance. It ranks down there with Macpherson's "Mac" ad in terms of missing the mark.

  • (Show?)

    OK critics I don't get your pain. I liked it, thought it was light, funny, and made the points that need to be made directly and in a way that will be remembered. What's the problem.

  • bridgie (unverified)
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    "What's the problem."

    Okay, I'll bite:

    • Attack ads that don't even mention Merkley's name, much less his values & policies, are not likely to be received very well in Oregon - especially as the first ad of the general election!
    • They're using Comic Sans as the font? Really? Comic Sans is the weakest, least ruthless font in the whole world. Not exactly attack-ad caliber. It looks like an unprofessional kindergarten handout.
    • The audio gives absolutely NO HINT that this is an anti-Smith ad. If you had your eyes closed or were in the kitchen getting a snack or whatever, the Merkley campaign would have essentially just paid for a 30-second spot for Smith. That's not exactly what I had in mind for my money when I donated to his campaign.
    • The talking points in the thought bubble are kind of trite and overplayed - it nationalizes the debate in a very unappealing way and barely even makes reference to Oregon (just the Wyden reference - but that just inspires me to vote for Wyden, not Merkley)
    • The John McCain endorsement attack is totally unnecessary and muddies the intent & focus of the ad.
    • It's essentially a "preaching to the choir" ad - the only new bit of information is the "votes with Bush 90% of the time" point, which could fill a 30-second spot all on its own without the added liability of letting Smith make his case in the audio track.
    • And finally, for an unpleasant attack ad, it's really an unbelievably weak attack - basically the worst of both worlds. They might as well have run an ad saying "OMG, did you guys know that Gordon Smith is a REPUBLICAN?!"

    In summary - if Merkley wants to make an attack ad, he is going to have to find something a little better than "Smith cancels out Wyden's vote". FWIW, I think he'd be much better off to shoot an ad introducing himself to Oregonians - his campaign seems to think that they have it made just being Democrats this year, but Oregonians are obstinately independent-minded and often seem loath to vote on ideology alone. People know and trust Smith, for better or for worse - and Merkley facelessly attacking him without even impugning that trust just makes Merkley look like a jerk.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    And Ron Wyden is going to go softly softly so as not to offend his good buddy Gordo?

  • (Show?)

    This is just a little in-house web video, folks. It was never meant to be a high dollar, television quality production.

    Its merely for circulation around the internet--not for a local big screen near you.

    Carla--Netroots Outreach, Jeff Merkley for Oregon

  • (Show?)
    This is just a little in-house web video, folks. It was never meant to be a high dollar, television quality production.

    If this had been something done by a Merkley supporter as an amateur effort that would be one thing. For something officially promoted by the campaign, it's just kind of sad.

    And jeez, "Pop Up Video"? I'm old and I remember a lot of dated stuff, but they stopped making those things about the time Bush took office, didn't they?

  • Bridget (unverified)
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    I kind of like it, though I don't understand the pop-up video. Still, I think that the Merkley campaign needs to crank out some high-value creative, even and especially for their viral stuff.

  • (Show?)

    And jeez, "Pop Up Video"? I'm old and I remember a lot of dated stuff, but they stopped making those things about the time Bush took office, didn't they?

    No, there are still pop up video type things. VH1 hasn't regularly shown the official "Pop Up Video" since 2002 (they started showing them in '96), but there are others who do them now.

    Comcast OnDemand has one they show a lot with their paid movies. It'll play the entire movie with pop ups that tell you about the actor, funny things that happened, how many times it took to shoot the scene, or whatever. I watched that version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and there were some pretty funny pop ups (like how the Choco-River started smelling like a sewer).

    I've bought DVDs that do the same thing (just within the last year or so, not old movies).

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Oh, for crying out loud people, for a group that claimed to have some capacity for humor, you're sure a sour lot. It's a low-budget, quirky web video, not a major appeal. If they hired the big guns and blew their budget on a bunch of web videos, they'd be in trouble. It's been over a week, and while I've got patience and sympathy for y'all, eventually we'll have to direct more criticism toward Smith than Merkley.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Attack ads that don't even mention Merkley's name, much less his values & policies, are not likely to be received very well in Oregon - especially as the first ad of the general election! "

    Here we get into the realm of opinion. As a TV ad this might look stupid, but on the web I like it.

    Ordinary folk who don't get too concerned about politics because of all the other things in their lives (raising kids, working, trying to make ends meet, etc.) are not likely to care what font is used. No one should have been mentioned in this ad except Gordon---the intent is to explode his self-righteous slickness.

  • (Show?)

    "Ordinary folk who don't get too concerned about politics because of all the other things in their lives (raising kids, working, trying to make ends meet, etc.) are not likely to care what font is used."

    LT, I don't think they'd be likely to recognize it, and would certainly be uninterested in a technical debate about it as above.

    But ordinary people do respond to good design (and bad). The comment was talking about aesthetic characteristics of the font.

    What I'm not sure about is whether a "ruthless" font is really what would be wanted here. From the still, it sort of looks like part of the point is to say that Smith is a comic book cartoon character.

    I have a slow connection so I rarely watch these when posted here.

  • MaryBeth (unverified)
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    Let's face it, we are sending the weaker of our two horses up against a Republican thoroughbred (OK I admit I am a Novick backer still in recovery). More disturbing to me than another lame Merkley ad, was the quote last week from Jeff that he couldn't remember a single instance when he didn't vote with his governor or his party.

    Smith, certainly no dummy, used the quote in his health care speech to seniors this week to drive home the point Jeff couldn't deliver a single Republican vote in his failed quest to pass the Gov's Health Kids Plan through the House. Just what we need, a Democratic candidate who gets outflanked by his Republican opponent on an issue as important as health care. We better hope Chuck Schumer has enough money left to carry this guy across the finish line or we are in real trouble!

  • Runtmg (unverified)
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    Powerfully simple video. Smith is the incumbent who is running on a platform of change. That is weakness right there on the spot. Merkley is wisely going after Smith for election year flip flopping which is I think a major point for a lot of people.

    For Merkley to win, he will need to carry Multnomah and Washington counties by huge margins to offset Smith in the rest of the state.

    Smith appears to be a friendly affable guy on his ads, so it makes sense to go after Smith as being weak in his convictions.

    This is where Merkley must hit, hit and hit hard.

    A wise thing to do for Merkley would also be to talk about his convictions as well.

  • Runtmg (unverified)
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    Also, to respond to the weaker of the two comment.

    It's pardon the language, b.s. Novick supporters continue to whine and cry and take shots at Merkley every chance they get. Enough!

    Merkely ran a tame campaign against Novick. TAME! The reason why Novick lost according to his supporters was that he was outspent 5-1 in rural areas. If Novick was facing Smith right now, how would he fare against Gordon in the outlying areas if he is outspent 5-1 by a fellow democrat?

    It seems as though Novick supporters who are on here want to see Merkley lose just so they can thumb their nose at everyone else and say, "see chuck shumer and Jeff Merkley, told you so, Novick would have been far better!

    It's childish, lame and stupid. Grow up.

    Many of the values that Novick supported, Merkley supports. So if you believe in Steve, go to Novicktown now and get in line for kool-aide. If you support the issues lay to rest the attacks on Merkley.

    This video was fun and light and underscores many of the points.

    Sour grapes can be sour only for so long.

  • jake (unverified)
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    Rather than lament Novick's loss I think Oregon progressives need to get real and support Merkley fully. In fact I am pissed that with the exception of Hooley , our reps have not endorsed Merkley yet. What are they thinking? That 6 more years of Smith are going to move Oregon forward? Are they fricking Dems or what?

    I wrote Earl B and I hope that you write your reps as well.

  • Jack Sullivan (unverified)
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    Let's face it, we are sending the weaker of our two horses up against a Republican thoroughbred

    S-C-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-R-E B-O-O-O-O-O-O-A-R-D.

  • Runtmg (unverified)
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    I agree with Jake.

    Novick has a bright future ahead of him. With no funding in place he took it to Gordon Smith first, then Jeff Merkley and this race was extremely close for the type of funding that Novick could score. Which is a valid gripe that Novick supporters make about Merkley having an unfair funding from the DSCC.

    So, let's move forward take Smith out and get Novick elected in whatever he runs for next. I will even change to democrat to help that out.

    Earl needs to get behind Merkley as well.

  • (Show?)

    to those admonishing former Novick supporters to get in line, maybe you should ask LT for a patented stemwinder on how the nominee shouldn't just expect support for having won; they'll actually have to do some outreach and appeal to those supporters. So far I haven't seen a lick of it. Steve did his part; we're still waiting on Jeff.

    The ad looks childish, helped by the font and style of the responses. They should have gone with a The Word type setup, ala Colbert, if they wanted to do a truth tell.

  • (Show?)

    ...and he wasn't outspent by a fellow Dem, he was outspent by the DSCC--who would now be spending money on Novick in the general, as they are for Merkley--so I don't understand the point.

  • (Show?)

    If you think criticism of this ad is "sour grapes" then you're tone deaf.

    I'm not of the belief that any campaign against Gordon Smith is going to be a cakewalk. The Merkley team is going to have to come up with some damn good material in order to beat him, his pile of cash, and the general perception -- despite his low approval ratings -- that Smith is a nice guy. That's actually a point on which I disagreed with Novick's public assessment of Smith (paraphrasing the Wizard of Oz) : "Gordon Smith is a very nice man. He's just a very bad Senator."

    I want to see Gordon Smith out of office. Unlike some Blue Oregon contributors, I never voted for the man. I want to see Jeff Merkley beat him. But if Merkley's hits on Smith are more lacklustre than the campaign he ran (and nearly lost) against Novick (despite heavily outspending him), then he doesn't have a chance.

    Jenni, as for "Pop Up Video", the logo and audio at the beginning and end of the ad are directly referencing the VH1 show. Sure, there are imitators, but with that specific branding it's as dated as claims of Iraqi WMD.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    First, as a font geek, Comic Sans is hated because it's overused and misused. But the entire reason for its existence is speech bubbles. Even the "Comic Sans Must Be Banned" websites, and they do exist, admit as much. I speak as someone who could look at a Novick mailer and say, "Oh, that's Filosofia. Interesting. Emigre did that one."

    TJ, when you say Novick did his part and Merkley hasn't done a lick, I'm trying to remember what Novick did at the unity meeting that Merkley didn't. As for actively courting Novick's base, what sort of things are you thinking of? Also, do you think the league of pissed-off Novick voters is a fairly large group? Not that being few in number means their concerns are less valid, but I'm trying to figure out how large a task you believe this is. The Rasmussen poll showing Smith matchups seemed to indicate most Democrats would back either candidate. And given that Merkley has your support, it looked like the holdouts were people who posted here anonymously with extra caps and punctuation. I realize support is different from enthusiasm, though, and enthusiasm is preferable. But I'm trying to figure out how he could win your enthusiasm beyond changing his positions or strategy (which, after all, was the winning strategy. He's got a good argument for continuing to use it now).

  • James X. (unverified)
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    To those (blasphemously) criticizing Pop-Up Video as a reference point: It's a pretty well-known reference, and it doesn't need to be current. Nostalgic references are perfectly valid. In fact, nostalgic shows like as I Love The '90s, which references Pop-Up Video, are a popular feature of VH1. Heck, "I Love Last Week," aka, "Best Week Ever," is popular. People are so hungry for nostalgia, they'll pretend to have fond memories of Wednesday. Don't be knocking Pop-Up Video.

  • (Show?)

    "TJ, when you say Novick did his part and Merkley hasn't done a lick, I'm trying to remember what Novick did at the unity meeting that Merkley didn't."

    It goes beyond the meeting. Novick sent an appeal to his entire mailing list--asking in strong terms for his supporters to back Merkley. What appeal has Jeff made to Novick's supporters, specifically? And more generally, what items or issues that drove people to support Novick, will Merkley consider adopting or remaining mindful of in his appeal? Are Steve's major donors being courted? Some of them are going to be getting their general election contributions back; what is Jeff doing to capture those for his race?

    (and just to clarify again, Merkley has my vote. Anything else is on the table, but I currently have no plans for "anything else.")

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Also: To Tell The Truth isn't exactly a current cultural reference, either.

    I suspect Novick and Merkley could collaborate on an email to Novick's supporters. I don't know how many unrequested messages from Merkley would be welcomed, though.

  • (Show?)

    the nominee shouldn't just expect support for having won; they'll actually have to do some outreach and appeal to those supporters. ... we're still waiting on Jeff.

    That is such self-important crap. Is Jeff Merkley supposed to show up at your house with flowers, tail between his legs for beating Novick, and beg to get your support while you stroke your goatee and fume? Get over yourself. I liked both Novick and Merkley, and Merkley won. Onward and upward, already. Unless you want Smith in November. That'll show Merkley.

    To those (blasphemously) criticizing Pop-Up Video as a reference point: It's a pretty well-known reference, and it doesn't need to be current.

    True dat. The "pop-up video" jingle streamed out of every college dorm window. Straight to the heart.

  • LiberalImage (unverified)
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    I like the ad. It fails to push Merkley as the candidate of choice however, but what else can you do with 30 seconds?

    I have created bumper stickers for myself pointing out the 90% Bush voting record, as well as my personal favorite: Gordon Smith, Flying Monkey for the GOP

    I put the latter on my car this morning.

    As far as the Novick supporters go, it would be contrary to a progressive agenda to do anything less than shift the vote to Merkley. I supported Novick initial because I thought he was the most progressive of the two, but Merkley is now the clear front runner in that regard and deserves the vote of all Oregon Democrats.

    Now unite so that we can get something done!

  • (Show?)

    Although I am way too old to have had Pop-Up Video or even MTV in college, I used to watch Pop-Up Video regularly and found it hugely addictive, clever, and riveting. None of those attributes could fairly be associated with the content of this spot.

    I get that it's an internet video, but if people are supposed to watch it voluntarily, then it should be amusing or at least entertaining.

    And speaking as one of the Novick donors who is due to be getting a refund of my general election contribution, I don't want or need (and would be repelled by) Jeff Merkley sucking up to me personally. There is no reason for him to do that. Rather, I'd like to see some generalized substantive reason to get enthused about him. If he called me today I'd tell him to go away and come back when his campaign was showing me something to get excited about, or (a girl can dream, can't she?) inspired by.

    Like everyone else, I have limited resources of time, money, and enthusiasm. Right now Barack Obama has a lot more claim on all of those than anyone else. But that's not completely a zero-sum game, and if Merkley is out there, viable, running a strong, smart campaign, I'll send him a check without his ever having to beg me for it.

  • (Show?)
    Also: To Tell The Truth isn't exactly a current cultural reference, either.

    No, it's not, but the Novick campaign didn't use the branding from the actual show like the Merkley web video did. It didn't make any reference at all to "To Tell the Truth" except for the title of the ad (which viewers didn't see) and the basic concept. Merkley's ad used the logo and audio cue from "Pop Up Video".

    If you think lame-ass ads with potential copyright problems (I can imagine the field day Smith's people would have at Merkley's expense if MTV Networks' lawyers got wind of the misappropriation of their logo) are great stuff, then be my guest. I'm not someone who has to be convinced to vote against Gordon Smith.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Steph, they got WW to play it, and it got more attention than a press release would, which is the point. Now more people know Smith votes with Bush 90% of the time and cancels out Wyden's vote, and have been trained to be skeptical of future Smith ads.

  • (Show?)

    I'm OK with any honorable campaign tactic that helps beat Smith, so this doesn't offend me particularly -- I just think it's a little lame, and query how much good it does. If it does help, that's great. Just color me skeptical.

  • (Show?)
    That is such self-important crap. Is Jeff Merkley supposed to show up at your house with flowers, tail between his legs for beating Novick, and beg to get your support while you stroke your goatee and fume? Get over yourself.

    I don't have a goatee, first of all. Secondly, it's pretty surprising to see the fairly normal process of a candidate seeking votes turned into an act of self-importance on the part of voters. You think Obama's not going to work specifically at bringing former Clinton voters into his fold? Even after all the shit she's rained down on him and his supporters?

    As I said, I'm not holding my vote hostage; Merkley has it. But it's going to take a lot more than votes in order to win, and it's Merkley's job to re-sell himself to the electorate--whether they be Merkley voters, Novick voters, Smith voters or Gordon Leitch voters. It's a new race, and the support must be re-earned. Obviously the 200,000+ who voted Novick are prime opportunities, but taking them for granted in November is a serious mistake.

    But beyond that, the objective call on Merkley's race was that it was tone-deaf, aloof, mostly based on the support of non-voters, too heavily based on mass contact strategies like bloated, generic ad campaigns, and too safe for Democrats seeking real change. You really don't think he has work to do? Let's hope the campaign does not share your opinion.

  • (Show?)
    True dat. The "pop-up video" jingle streamed out of every college dorm window.

    Yeah, like back when Bill Clinton was still in office. But at some point you have to stop living in the hazy glow of your high school and college years, remembering when you were smoking doobs and watching VH1 (I'm old enough I can remember when MTV was still aiming high enough to get college-age viewers).

    I'm with Stephanie on this. It doesn't offend me as a piece of political advertising. I even think there are a couple of decent points made in the ad.

    But as someone who's worked in print and multimedia production for 20 years, its wretched production values do make me gag. As a Democrat who wants to see Gordon Smith beat in the fall, seeing this kind of amateur stuff come out of the campaign just makes my teeth hurt.

    Did Merkley spend all the DSCC money on the primary or something?

  • (Show?)

    I never said VH1 quit making the show (or that the actual Pop Up Video brand shows) weren't being made. It used to be a regularly scheduled show on VH1. Now it's just on sometimes. And some of the movies I've seen and bought were using the official "Pop Up Video" music, logos, etc. I watched one just a few months ago.

    I don't really see anything wrong with using the Pop Up Video theme - a good chunk of the voters that Merkley will need to get to vote for him will have been of an age to have watched Pop Up Videos. It would be funny to see a "The Word" type video, maybe a "On Notice" one as well?

    I do think the video could have been a little better. Part of what made Pop Up Video so good was that the comments were often witty, funny, something surprising, etc.

    I must admit as a font junkie that I absolutely hate Comic Sans. I want to gag anytime someone wants me to do their entire site in Comic Sans (or a brochure or a flyer or whatever). It does work well for speech bubbles, but works best in ones where it's working alongside cartoon or comic book looking characters or where real photos have been doctored up to have a comic book feel.

    It's a start, though. Maybe some supporters could put together some good ones as well? At a minimum they can be used to share with others to show why they should vote for Merkley, why Gordon Smith needs to go, etc.

  • (Show?)

    And I should say that until someone told the story behind the "To Tell the Truth" ad. It was a lot more clever of an ad once you knew the back story.

    Since this is a true case of parody, I don't see that you'd run into a copyright problem with the way they're doing this. I did quite a bit of research on the topic lately and found a series of questions you answer to see if something is fair use or not. This ad falls on the "left" and "middle" side of the three columns of answers (education on a topic, parody, etc.). That means it would fall into the fair use category.

  • (Show?)

    That's what I get for doing too many things at once... trying to catch up from being down with strep throat...

    That should say:

    And I should say that until someone told the story behind the "To Tell the Truth" ad, I didn't fully get it.

  • (Show?)
    t seems as though Novick supporters who are on here want to see Merkley lose just so they can thumb their nose at everyone else and say, "see chuck shumer and Jeff Merkley, told you so, Novick would have been far better!

    runtmg, this is what's B.S. Personally I consider myself on the Merkley team now. I take Steve at his word that he'll be working hard for Merkley. Numbers of my fellow Novick supporters who are closer to him personally or were more active in the campaign than I may not yet feel comfortable seeing themselves that way. But the idea that any of this discussion indicates desire to see Jeff lose just doesn't wash.

    There might be a slightly different version of the question that we could ask -- there are a lot of talented people activist people who worked for Steve Novick. Seriously activist, politically skilled people. If we are to assume that beating Gordon Smith is going to involve a larger scale effort, and that activist, skilled people don't grow on trees, is the extant Merkley campaign looking at ways to recruit some of those erstwhile foes and put their talents to work? Get a Charlie Burr, a T.A. Barnhart, a Jenni Simonis (not an exhaustive list) doing some stuff for you & the ex-Novickiac lines start to blur plus you get some worthwhile help from people who know some stuff.

    Maybe it's early days yet for something like that, I don't know. But speaking of grown up, I do hope that the Merkley people are grown up enough to take the kind of critiques that have been offered here in stride, to consider how much they might have merit (not for purposes of debating in a venue of limited importance, but in the way mature people deal with criticism as an opportunity for reflection & sometimes learning).

    I don't know if there are less public ways for the Merkley campaign to reach out to Novick activists saying "we'd like your input." Jeff has at times portrayed himself as wanting to run a fighting campaign. Was that just to counter Steve's effort to portray himself as the "real" fighter in the race? I hope and assume not. Jeff will fight in his own way, of course, but there are people who are attracted the idea of fighting campaigns & have ideas about that which don't begin and end with the aspects that caused worry for many Merkley people.

    Steve did win in Multnomah County. Jeff will too in the general. In some ways his priority probably needs to be to win elsewhere and to shave Smith's margins even in counties Jeff doesn't win. Why not try to get hold of some of the energy that won MultCo for Steve and get folks to apply that where it worked best?

    There are going to be better and worse candidates for getting people who post here involved, I expect. With TJ there might just be too much interpersonal stuff -- but still, persuading him to go independently on the hunt after Gordon might not be a bad investment. Stephanie V. has been pretty clear about how it is for her -- but since Obama's coattails & helping weave them for Oregon has got to be a piece of a Merkley strategy anyway, why not support that choice & keep lines of communication open?

    Maybe it's unrealistic, maybe there are ethical problems, but I wonder if Jeff could actually Steve to send another message to e-mail list and send, introduced by Steve, a follow-up from Jeff message -- quote Steve on his quite strong statement of support for Jeff, and say something like "I'm grateful to Steve for this support, would welcome and be grateful for yours, know we all respect each other as fellow Democrats, know we share the goal of defeating Gordon Smith, and invite you to become involved with our campaign if you are not already." Or whatever is the best way to say something like that. The list actually does create a tool to address Novick's supporters in a specific way with a message tailored to them.

    Generalizing about Novick supporters in an obviously distorted and exaggerated way doesn't help Jeff. Seems as if maybe there's some wound-licking still going on on that side too.

  • (Show?)

    Thanks, Chris. Much appreciated. It's no secret that I was and am deeply disappointed with Novick's loss, but that feeling has nothing to do with disappointment with Jeff Merkley. I love Novick and am incredibly proud of the race he ran. Having said that, I am going to work very hard to defeat Gordon Smith. I think what I'd tell Merkley supporters here is to understand that for a lot of Novick folks this was a pretty damn tough loss. So be gracious winners and don't be too thin-skinned.

    The Merkley campaign itself is working hard to reach out to Novick supporters and fully understands that it will take all hands on deck to win. I spoke for a while to Jeff Merkley today -- and appreciate him reaching out -- and told him that I will do everything in my power to help in November.

    It's no secret that Gordon Smith has access to immense campaign resources. Already, he's amassed a war chest of $5 million. To put it in perspective, that's enough money to buy hundreds of thousands of television spots. Or if you're Smith, four sets of golf clubs.

    But a strong coalition beats Smith. Let's not get drawn into a back-and-forth about past battles when we face such a historic opportunity. Instead, let's kick Gordon's ass. C'mon it'll be fun.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "........ think what I'd tell Merkley supporters here is to understand that for a lot of Novick folks this was a pretty damn tough loss. So be gracious winners and don't be too thin-skinned."

    As someone who was no more involved than discussing the US Senate friends, I would also suggest something else.

    If every Novick partisan and every Merkley partisan are the only ones who vote for Jeff in the fall, the campaign is in trouble.

    The US Senate election will be decided by the folks who were not partisans in the primary and were more interested in something else--their kids, their work, an organization they belong to, family concerns, etc.

    I knew people in the valley who had a hard time keeping Merkley and Schrader straight (not that they look so much alike, but they are mild mannered policy wonk legislators of similar age).

    Questions like "who won that Senate primary?" and "did the beer bottle guy win or lose?" (reference made by a neighbor who couldn't quite remember Novick's name) indicate the attitude of many in the general public.

    I understand the feelings of Novick people--I was a Lonsdale supporter the year of the 1992 recount and a Lonsdale/Rust supporter in 1996.

    One would hope that any adult who was involved in a contested primary will have a more adult approach than what adults see when supervising kids on a school playground. As a first grader yelled today from the top of a jungle gym, "You should not call names because it hurts people's feelings!".

  • (Show?)

    I have to say the Merkley campaign jumped right at the chance of having me help with the campaign. I was supposed to meet with Carla this week, but the little cold I thought I had the day after election turned into a really bad case of strep throat. And that kept me home away from everyone while I was contagious (thank God the fever's gone...).

    I e-mailed a congrats over, and Carla immediately wrote back and asked if I'd be interested in helping with some pretty specific stuff.

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    Good news from Charlie and Jenni. Not surprising, but good, thanks for sharing it. And as always Charlie I appreciate your leadership about the attitude for staying engaged (Jenni yours is pretty much similar when you express it, of course -- hope you feel better.) Kudos for reaching out and kudos to the early-adopter Merkley folks ;-> for doing likewise.

    LT, I think your point is extremely well taken from an overall strategic point of view -- but I do also think there is a more specific problem concerning the problems that affects the campaign's capacity to take up the excellent and vital point you make. Not saying you'd disagree. And I appreciate your making the connection to your past experiences in this context; it rounds out some other aspects that you've addressed in earlier ones.

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    Suffering cheesebrain today: meant "a more specific problem about the partisans" & reconciling ourselves.

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    Thanks. I feel a lot better than I did on Monday and Tuesday... I felt like dying then. When I get strep, I get it bad and my throat swells. Which means juice was my "food" for a few days. Now that I've had two days of being able to eat again, I feel my strength coming back. Which, of course, means I got to spend the day playing work catch up. ; )

    But that also meant I could hang out on the blogs while I was waiting for backups to run, SQL databases to load, and files to upload.

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    Since this is a true case of parody, I don't see that you'd run into a copyright problem with the way they're doing this.

    I think that might be a misinterpretation of what parody entails under the fair-use laws.

    Here's a quote from a Graphic Artists Guild site: "if you use someone else’s artwork for parody, make sure your work makes an obvious and specific comment on that underlying original work." The ad certainly fulfills that requirement with regard to the Smith ad, but I doubt it makes sufficient commentary on Pop-up Video itself to warrant the use of their trademark.

    In any case, wouldn't the smarter move for the future be to avoid potential copyright and trademark infringement entanglements with companies like Viacom during an election? Just imagine how much money and energy an intellectual property suit could suck out of the campaign, even if it eventually lost or was settled out of court.

    If, as you say, Jenni, they're still running and selling Pop Up Video material, VH1 would have an even greater reason to stomp on anyone they see as potentially abusing their trademark than if they'd stopped running them entirely in 2002. Corporations regularly send out cease and desist letters to prevent these kinds of things from ever getting adjudicated. And if the campaign gets one, how long will it be before Gordon Smith's dollars back an actual TV ad about it?

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    While I don't like the spot, I think the Viacom copyright infringement issue is a nonstarter for purposes of this discussion. MasterCard unsuccessfully sued Ralph Nader for using its "Priceless" motif in campaign advertising. Political speech has the highest level of First Amendment / fair use protection.

    Litigation of this kind typically does not create a backlash against the political advertiser, and if there is any backlash at all it is more likely to be to the detriment of the copyright owner.

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    Stephanie V:

    Right. Not to mention the fact that there are a lot more of similar parodies using the Pop Up Video stuff that have had a lot more exposure, such as being on tv.

    And the rules are different for various types of copyrighted work - it varies quite differently from artwork to graphic work to video to audio. But there's a test that is pretty commonly used to determine fair use or copyright infringement, and this definitely falls under the fair use side.

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    to respond briefly to Chris lowe, I need no persuading to take on the job of re-educating Oregonians on Smith. That was always the plan. The issue is whether in addition to working against a candidate, I work positively for the other one.

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    to respond briefly to Chris lowe, I need no persuading to take on the job of re-educating Oregonians on Smith. That was always the plan. The issue is whether in addition to working against a candidate, I work positively for the other one.

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    Completely right TJ, that's what I said. Do the work you'll do well and can put your enthusiasm into. It doesn't make sense to ask the same thing of everyone.

    Actually, maybe we can pair you up with Ron Wyden to complement each other in approach :->

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