Don Berwick Just Put Out a Petty New Ad

See if you can spot the child in this one.

Don Berwick is out with a new TV ad featuring child versions of Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman:

So here we have two generally popular Democrats, current heads of two well-run constitutional offices—presumed to be so well-known that they will be recognized by first name—portrayed as children squabbling over guns and Super PACs. Then, on comes a guy who 60+ percent of likely primary voters don’t know from Adam, saying he’s the serious alternative.

This does not strike me as at all likely to persuade anybody to vote for the guy who they still know nothing about by the end of the ad.

It just doesn’t ring true: most people don’t have any sense that Coakley and Grossman have been squabbling. Hell, I follow the race obsessively, and even I don’t feel put upon by an annoying amount of squabbling. Even the Berwick people could only come up with one squabble topic for each side, and then had to have them repeat it with different wording.

This ad seems particularly unfair to Coakley. The public has not seen her run negative ads, or act particularly petty or squabbling in public debates or appearances. And here comes Berwick accusing her of being petty and squabbling for … objecting to Super PACs, which most people think of as degrading the political discourse that Berwick is accusing Coakley of degrading.

Good use of $300,000+ of public funding, Don. Reminds me of 2002, when Warren Tolman was criticized for using his public funding to run nasty ads against Tom Birmingham.

And speaking of petty: casting a Grossman child doppelganger with ears that stick out? Come on.


David S. Bernstein
David S. Bernstein David S. Bernstein, Contributing Editor, Boston Magazine david@davidsbernstein.com


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