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.

  • FrancisMcManus

    Really David? Berwick is a ‘raving’ ‘apocalyptic’ ‘doomsayer’?

    “Don Berwick..has [transformed] from casino skeptic to raving, apocalyptic casino doomsayer, as the issue has proven the most attention-getting difference he has with Coakley.

    Why the hyperbolic characterization? You’ve never shown favor to this candidate. Going back to the convention you’ve shown mostly contempt for his positions and his chances. And now, you claim he’s ‘raving.’ Do you think casinos in Mass are a petty issue, the debate about which could only be described as bickering?

    “That and other Berwick bickering is not, however, the sort of bickering that he sees when Coakley and Grossman disagree with each other— his word, from the Herald debate, in trying to position himself as the grown-up above such things (at least, when he’s not doing it himself a few minutes later).

    Wow, your condescension: “the grown-up above such things.” What are the things Coakley and Grossman have been disagreeing about. Are they substantive policy issues or trivial, thus bickering?

    “Coakley ..neatly pointed out that Berwick’s “bickering” charge explains the intent behind what has been reported, first by me on social media, later in the Globe: that Berwick held casting auditions to find young Coakley and Grossman look-alikes, to play the two as children in an ad scheduled to be filmed this past Friday.”

    I don’t see where you’ve made a case that Berwick bickers –debates trivial issues–and Coakley and Grossman do not.

    Your reporting is jaded, angry and biased.

    Do you even like politics anymore?

    You should consider a career change.

  • DorothyMA

    It seems *Bernstein* wants to be seen as the adult in the room.

  • Marlene

    I may not know him yet, but I am willing to find out about Don Berwick. At 59, I am tired of the lesser of two evils at the polling place.

  • robertjohn

    Saw the commercial. Googled. I don’t know this blog, and know little about this candidate but, based on this entry, it really seems like the blogger just doesn’t like the candidate for reasons beyond this commercial.

  • Mark Rodgers

    Took me a while to see it on TV, but I liked this ad! Berwick comes across as the happy warrior and I think the kids angle worked. The specifics of what they were arguing about in the ad, and whether voters know those are the issues being argued about, isn’t really all that important.