The ad says, “For Carl DeMaio, independence is not a label, it’s his life story.”
Talk about your makeovers. Perhaps he’s taking a cue from the Romney campaign and trying to humanize his image. Maybe somebody in his operation has actually drilled down into the polling numbers and realized that whoever wins San Diego’s mayoral contest is going to have to reach beyond party lines. Or possibly his advisors think people were turned off by his negative advertising in the primary race. Whatever.
The first round of video from the DeMaio campaign emerged Tuesday with a thirty second ad that seeks to remold “Fighting Carl” into “Mr. Rogers”, the iconic TV host who became known as a symbol of compassion and patience as he explained the world to children through the eyes of his neighborhood. It was jaw dropping.
Crusader Carl, the guy who we saw leading the angry masses against the forces of evil at City Hall, is now recast as a kinder, gentler Carl, who, with a song in his heart and a smile on his face, is joyfully strolling with a wave of humanity towards a new day. And the irony here is that the ‘new, softer Carl’ ad is using some of the same footage as the ‘onward Christian soldiers’ commercials from the primary season.
While the mayoral contest in San Diego is officially non-partisan, both winners of this spring’s primary contest ultimately relied upon their party affiliations to raise them above a crowded field and into the November runoff. And while both candidates have made conciliatory gestures aimed at raising their stature with non-aligned voters, Carl DeMaio’s declaration of ‘independence’ is astonishing.
DeMaio’s the guy who’s taken the conservative think tanks’ game plan for drowning government in a bathtub and translated it into actual on-the-street political campaigns, and now he’s telling us that he’s an independent kinda guy. One look at his campaign contributors, who mostly fall on the further right edges of the political spectrum, should be enough to convince any voter that New Carl is no different than Old Carl.
At an hour long debate in front of the La Jolla Rotary Club [Tuesday], City Councilman Carl DeMaio and Congressman Bob Filner continued the testy exchanges that were the hallmarks of previous meetings between the candidates. The campaign is expected to intensify in coming weeks, with both sides relying upon intensive television advertising, and nearly twenty face to face encounters in front of groups throughout the region.
The Filner campaign also released its first commercial , a predictable “introduction to the man” production that didn’t seek to distance the Congressman from his past. Because with Bob Filner, what you see is what you get, warts and all. With Carl DeMaio, you’ll need to look beyond the packaging.
The above was taken from Doug Porter’s daily column, The Starting Line, at the San Diego Free Press. For the remainder of his article, please go here.