The Boston Globe front-paged the redoubtable Frank Phillips yesterday in this smoke-alarm piece about Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren’s anemic ad campaign.
Is urged to show a personal side
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren — amid growing unrest from party activists and leaders — is facing pressure to make a major shift in her television advertising with a new series of commercials that seek to soften her image, while focusing more directly on her GOP rival, Senator Scott Brown.
According to top Democratic leaders in Massachusetts, Warren campaign advisers are considering a new strategy that will be aimed at toning down what those leaders call the preachy tone that has dominated her ads until now. Instead, some of the spots would rely more on the voices of voters from all walks of life describing what Warren’s supporters say is the warm personality of a popular university professor. They would also zero in on Brown, acknowledging that while he is a likable public figure, he is not the moderate Republican that he makes himself out to be.
(Not for nothing, but is that the only jacket Professor Warren owns? ‘Cause that’s the only one the hardwatching staff has seen her wear. For God’s sake, Elizabeth: Buy another jacket.)
Back to the heart of the matter in the Globe piece:
A half-dozen Democrats asked about the ads insisted that Warren, while an exciting and eminently likable candidate, must change her media strategy if she is to beat Brown. Each declined to be quoted on the record because of the political sensitivity of the issue.
The problem came into sharp focus at last week’s Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., when Warren and her advisers were criticized by local and national Democrats. The criticisms seemed to resonate. As she headed out of the convention hall for her trip home, she signaled to one fellow Democrat: “Message received.’’
You’re a little late to the party, guys. The problem actually came into focus a while ago and the message was delivered by Warren supporters concerned about the gap between her personal appeal and her commercial appeals.
From the American Prospect:
Supporters of the Massachusetts Dem thought she had a lock on Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat. But the campaign has proved that’s far from true.
In that piece, Warren supporters begged her last summer to make her ads more personal (no links, please trust us).
Anyway, they’re all on the same page now.
UPDATE: Actually, the link works now, but the hardworking staff can’t locate the quote, But we read it somewhere. Honest.