THE CLOSING ADS PRE-PRIMARY IN THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR
THE HULSHOF CLOSER
My Take: Bringing us back to his roots is heart-warming. I mean, who doesn't love their dad? It's been Kenny's over-arching theme all along. "I came from small beginnings, but I didn't forget them. I'm a good guy, the Missouri dream. You can trust me." His line about "keeping your good name," is a subtle dig at Steelman. His message: I've stayed above the fray and kept my eye on the ball. You should reward me for that. The endorsements from newspapers is boilerplate politics, but if he's the nominee will he be touting these same papers if/when they back Jay Nixon? What will he say about the importance of endorsements then? He's making the argument that he's better experienced, more prepared, but critics will say he's lacked an overall message beyond that.
THE STEELMAN CLOSER
My Take: Steelman's closer is much like her last ad "Mom." She's basically repackaged it to highlight her maverick/outsider image. Nothing really new here. In fact, she uses some of the exact same lines word for word. Something must be telling them their themes are resonating. Steelman leads off with the Wall Street Journal column, which she hopes conservatives will recognize as a stamp of approval. She looks straight into the camera the entire time and she wants to convey that she's willing to shake up the system, especially on fiscal responsibility and spending. The Steelman ads have been slick and creative throughout the cycle, but this one is serious. No music. No gimmicks. No Orville and Ed. No Lobster. Can you tell it's gametime?
THE NIXON CLOSER
My take: Jay Nixon isn't running in the Republican primary, but you might be fooled by watching his latest ad. His first 30-second bio piece highlights Nixon's long career as Attorney General. The message. He's tough, he favors the death penalty. He knows what bothers you, he cracked down on telemarketers. He understands the economic squeeze, so he'll cut your taxes. Heck, he'll even cut government waste. Democrats will say this is who Jay is and has always been. But if you were new to the scene, you mighta thunk this ad was being run by a Republican.