What Are Political Ads Telling US

juan-essay 2

What Are Political Ads Really Telling US?



The ad, titled “This Is a Clear Choice”, begins with white text with a black background with the title President Bill Clinton.  After the text disappears we see the former president addressing the viewer in saying that the election for him is about which candidate can bring this country back to an economic recovery.  The ad then follows with text again this time saying “This is a Clear Choice” and having President Clinton repeat the text after the shot goes back to him.  He then explains the policies that the Republican Party plans to use if elected into the White House.  President Clinton states “The Republican plan is cut more taxes on upper income earned people and go back to deregulation which got us here in the first place.” He then goes on to say that President Barack Obama has a plan to build America from the ground up.  When he says this line, the ad goes to show President Obama sitting at a table with a middle-class family.  The frame then shifts to an electrician your “everyday” American up at the crack of dawn heading off to work.  The frame then shifts to the president talking to two business men. Here Obama seems to be explaining solar energy since there is a huge solar panel in front of the men.  Clinton then states how Obama will invest in energy, education, and job training.  This is then followed with frame shots of a classroom full of students to a group of workers in the middle of job training.  The ad continues with showing President Obama with an “everyday” American in a dinner and having a conversation.  The ad wraps up with the showing of a middle-class family taking groceries out of their car and a woman heading off to work.  Towards the end of the video the former president explains how having a stronger middle-class will bring America back.  The former president also says how the same policies that president Obama will use are the same policies he used himself when he was president.


From 2008 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers till now (2012) we are still in tough economic times.  The unemployment rate in the United States is 8.2% and the pace at which jobs are being created can be described as anemic.  The state of the economy has become the main theme in this election.  Since the economy is the main theme of the political race ads such as this one will be the focal point of both political camps.    By starting the ad with President Bill Clinton the viewer is more likely to listen to what the former president has to say.

A man with an approval rating estimated to be 66%, he would be a key person in having to explain the different economic policies from both sides.  Before doing all that the former president says that the Republican plan is to tax the upper income earners and go ahead with more deregulation.  This is a key statement because after the collapse of Lehman Brothers we saw a huge rise in unemployment numbers and foreclosures.  The blame was then issued on the banking system by the millions of Americans which were affected by the collapse of this financial company.  A cry for legislative regulation resulted from this financial collapse – known as the Dodd-Frank Bill.  Some have even said that the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act which was passed by a Republican Congress is an example on how republicans came to be known as deregulators. Clinton also lays out the investments that President Obama will take a part in.  As he lays out what the president will invest in we see a class room full of young students and a group of workers training for their job.  Illustrating the picture of how the president wants to invest in the middle class.

The ad goes on showing the president with everyday Americans having a form of discussion.  Showing that he is for the working American and that he is for the people of the middle-class.  Towards the end of the ad when Bill Clinton says that by investing in the middle class is what he did as president and that we need to continue on the path that the president is going is of importance.  As stated earlier former President Bill Clinton still has a high approval rating among voters and by having him say this is what I did and it’s what President Obama wants to do it can persuade the undecided voter to vote for the incumbent.  People still talk about the Clinton years and how our economy was booming and unemployment was at an all-time low.  By having that endorsement it creates the image of returning back to those Clinton years.

To go deeper the former president was in a one on one setting as if though giving an interview.  Dressed in a suit and tie with the back drop of a nice home sort of like an ad he would run if he was running for president. The overall message was keep President Obama in office so he can continue on the path Clinton used to bring this economy back on its feet.  That the Republicans will only use their policy of deregulation and taxing the upper income earners to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy Americans in the country.



The ad “This is a Clear Choice” believes that this election is clear on who we should vote for come November.  Do you want to vote for the incumbent president who wants to help middle class America and who will invest in education, energy innovation, and job training? Or would you vote for the party who got us here in the first place? By Clinton saying that the Republican Party will go back to deregulation it contributes to the rhetoric that the Republican Party is for big banks.  It can also be taken a step forward when we look at the current debate with renewing the Bush Era Tax Cuts.  Where the president has stated he would want to set a limit on who will receive the tax cuts.  On the other hand republicans have said they will pass no such revisions to the bill.  The ideology behind this ad is social class warfare.  Majority of the Republican Party signed a pledge to Grover Norquist to not raise taxes for the one percent.  Displaying how they favor one part of the social class in America.  We also see it when they favor deregulation, a factor which brought this country to the worst financial collapse in history since the Great Depression.  Deregulation did not help the general public rather it hurt the middle-class American but benefitted some CEOs.  It was evident in August (2011) when the republican controlled house almost allowed the United States to default by refusing to raise the debt ceiling.  Ignoring the disastrous effect that it would have on the nations economy. This has all been illustrated as social class warfare therefore, by displaying Obama with middle-class families and reminding us of the republican plan we are inclined to believe that the president is for all of America and not just one group of Americans.