Coakley Goes Subliminal; Subliminally Shoots Foot

Hey, remember the grief the Democrats gave Republicans in 2000, via media surrogates such as the New York Times over the subliminal “Rats” frame an otherwise  innocuous campaign ad late in the 2000 election cycle? It looks like it’s the left’s turn to get caught in the subliminal images department.


As if having the glaring “Massachusettes” typo in the closing title card of one of her ads wasn’t bad enough, the Politico’s Ben Smith catches Martha Coakley’s ad shop making an even worse blunder. Smith writes:

A new ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee uses an unlikely symbol of Wall Street greed: the World Trade Center.

The image in the attack on Scott Brown for his alleged closeness to Wall Street pictures the Trade Center and the destroyed Marriott Hotel on its western side.

A National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman, Brian Walsh, attacked its use.

“Using the image of a site where over 2,700 Americans died in a terrorist attack to distort Scott Brown’s position on regulating Wall Street is both distasteful and disrespectful. Martha Coakley should immediately renounce this ad and call for it to be removed from the airwaves,” he said.

A spokesman for the DSCC, Eric Schultz, said the image should not have appeared in the ad and that it was being pulled and aired with a different image.

UPDATE: The ad is no longer on YouTube; you can see it here. The revised ad, now airing, is here

Here’s the screen capture from the original ad:


Here’s the building that was used:


(Click on either photo to enlarge.)

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey adds:


Has anyone ever seen a major campaign this badly handled in one short week?  Most of the blame goes to Coakley, but the DSCC was the group that sent Michael Meehan to help with messaging this week.  His first contribution was to commit assault and battery on a reporter for the Weekly Standard.  Now the DSCC chooses an image of the World Trade Center, Ground Zero on 9/11, to represent Wall Street and to attack Brown.  That’s not just “distasteful and disrespectful” to someone who served in the war on terror and remains in the National Guard to this day, it’s flat-out stupidity.

And don’t believe it when the DSCC claims it was a mistake, either.  The World Trade Center is a very distinctive-looking building, one that every American grew to know in the endless replays of the 9/11 attack.  Anyone working in politics who didn’t recognize it either has been asleep for nine years or is irretrievably dense.

When the dust settles on this campaign, Democrats will be quick to blame Coakley for its failure (assuming she loses), but she won’t be the only one who screwed up this election.

Update: My good friend Guy Benson says this on Twitter: “Coakley is SO opposed to the death penalty for KSM that she put a picture of the building he plotted to bring down in an attack ad.”  (Explanation of death-penalty issue here.)


Ed adds that “Rudy Giuliani is … not amused:”

“Never in their wildest dreams did they think they would lose in Massachusetts,” says Giuliani. “Now they’re using imagery from an area of New York where thousands of Americans died.” The ad, he concludes, “just understates how excessively negative they’ve become since they’re so paranoid about losing this seat. They’re now using buildings that were destroyed on 9/11 — which is just unthinkable — and somebody better look into what they’re really trying to say.”

Ed concludes, “What are they really trying to say?  My best guess is, ‘Help me, I’m drowning!’, but honestly, your guess is as good as mine.”

Anything can happen on Tuesday, but no wonder the Creigh Deeds comparisons are beginning to flow. Especially when, as Jim Geraghty quips, “After meeting Saturday with George W. Bush on Haiti, Obama goes to Boston Sunday, arguing that Scott Brown is as bad as George W. Bush.”


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