2016 Ads ‘n’ Ends (‘Take a Bullet for Donald Trump’ Edition)

Itemizing a few deductions from the presidential campaign trail . . .

Item: Sanders campaign starts to ‘Air the Bern’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ quixotic presidential run is so revolutionary, he has just:        1) hired a pollster; 2) prepared a series of policy speeches; 3) abandoned mega-rallies for close encounters of the voter kind in diners and coffee shops; and 4) launched a $2 million TV ad campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Representative sample:



What the dustupping staff especially liked:

Bernie’s hats.


Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.23.20 AM



Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.25.56 AM


Hatever . . .

Item: To know Trump . . . check out this quote

It is universally accepted that Donald Trump has a ceiling on his presidential campaign support. But the GOP Hair Apparent also has a floor, as this Politico Morning Score item illustrates.

CODA — QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I would take a bullet for the man.” — Teresa Unrue, a graphic designer and Trump campaign volunteer in Myrtle Beach, S.C. http://politi.co/1GHriE8

Teresa Unrue – what a great name for someone with no regrets.

Meanwhile, that link above goes nowhere – which is the perfect metaphor for Trump’s campaign and his supporters.

Item: Fox TV spot says its GOP debate will be all business 

Last week’s Republican presidential debate on CNBC was largely acknowledged to be a train wreck, and Fox Business Network – the scene of the next GOPanderthon – has launched a TV commercial claiming its November 10th debate will be very different.



Hey, Fox Business – try the decaf, eh?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To Know Trump (‘Donald the Menace’ Edition)

As if Donald Trump wasn’t enough of a cartoon, a focus group in Indianapolis this week was asked to compare the GOP candidates to fictional characters, and Trump came through – as he might say – incredible.

Sort of.

Via NBC News:

The GOP Presidential Field As Cartoon Characters

If the Republican presidential candidates were cartoon characters, who would they be?

Over more than two hours on Tuesday night, pollster Peter Hart asked a focus group of Republican voters in Indianapolis a battery of questions about the 2016 hopefuls. While their answers included thoughtful assessments of policy positions and incisive observations about each candidate’s style, it may have been the cartoons that were the most revealing.

Asked to match the 2016 hopefuls with a fictional character, these voters managed to capture some core perceived traits of the hopeful next leaders of the free world. Here’s how they described some of the 2016 hopefuls — quite literally, in two dimensions.

Money quote:


DONALD TRUMP: The Tasmanian Devil. Dennis the Menace. Richie Rich. The Incredible Hulk.

Said one participant, who compared Trump to the loveable Hank Ketchum character Dennis the Menace: “He doesn’t necessarily have bad intentions but man, can he screw things up!”

Representative sample:





Other focus group associations:






Your submissions go here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CNN Cooks Its Debate Numbers Like Julia Child

Having been around longer than dirt, the dustupping staff gets it that media outlets can make audience statistics dance to any tune they want. But this one stretches the numbers like taffy.

CNN full-page ad in yesterday’s New York Times (and Wall Street Journal).


Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 1.34.56 AM


And here’s the fine print:


Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 1.36.03 AM


1-Minute Qualifier?

75% Unification?

100% sleight of stats, we’re thinking.

So here’s a reality check.

In the wake of last month’s CNN Republican Presidential Debate in California, CNN Money reported that “23 million watched GOP debate, a record for CNN.”

As for the Democratic debate in Nevada last week, CNN Money reported that “Democratic debate hits record 15.3 million viewers.”

You do the math: That adds up to 38 million viewers, far short of the 50 million touted by CNN MoneyLand.

Caveat advertiser, eh?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ads ‘n’ Ends From the Campaign Trail

Itemizing some deductions from the 2016 presidential race.

Item: Local TV Stations Love All White House Wannabes

Nobody profits from a presidential race more than the broadcast and cable outlets in the early primary states.

From Bloomberg Politics:

Local TV Stations Booming From Super-PAC Windfall

For some strategically located TV stations, all those (mostly) negative campaign ads are helping create highly positive bottom lines.


Dale Woods, general manager of WHO-TV in Des Moines, always knew Christmas would arrive early this year. He just didn’t anticipate just how big it would be.

Every four years, the NBC affiliate in the state that kicks off the presidential nominating process enjoys a windfall of advertising as the candidates vie for the attention of the small slice of the population that shows up for the midwinter Iowa caucuses. This year’s bonus, however, is eye-popping. According to data compiled by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), political advertising in Iowa is up more than 300 percent over the 2012 campaign.

Money quote:

The TV stations love the extra super-PAC business, especially since the outside groups often pay some of the highest rates. That’s because they often place ads at the last minute, when rates are higher, and they’re not guaranteed the lowest rate available, as is required by law for actual candidates. Contracts on file with the Federal Communications Commission, for example, show Republican Jeb Bush’s campaign paying rates around $500 for a 30-second spot on WHO’s evening news show in January. For Right to Rise, meanwhile, the super-PAC supporting Bush is booked to pay seven times as much for a similar slot.

Boo hoo.


Item: Republican National Committee Enails HRC 

The GOP establishment is on Hillary Clinton like Brown on Williamson.

Exhibit Umpteen (via The Washington Times):

RNC’s new TV ad hits Hillary Clinton with email scandal ahead of first Democratic debate


LAS VEGAS — The Republican National Committee on Monday 21ddd01914452d2d840f6a7067002853_c0-78-3306-2005_s561x327debuted a new TV ad highlighting ongoing federal investigations into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email practices and potential mishandling of classified material as secretary of state.

The ad went up on cable TV and the Internet as Mrs. Clinton prepares for the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday in Las Vegas and continued to aggressively move to cast the email scandal as a political smear campaign orchestrated by House Republicans.

The spot:



What happens in Las Vegas obviously won’t stay there.


Item: BuzzFeed to create native video ads for candidates

Just what we need: Stealth marketing from the sneakiest people on earth.

Via Politico:


BuzzFeed launches native video political advertising

BuzzFeed will begin creating native video ads for politicians and political causes, the website will announce Monday.

Rena Shapiro, most recently advertising director for Pandora, has been named vice president, Politics & Advocacy for BuzzFeed.

Shapiro will oversee native political ads, created in conjunction with BuzzFeed’s product and branded video teams from BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.

“BuzzFeed is the top place millennials and influentials are reading and sharing news, and with the smart and thoughtful reporting from BuzzFeed Politics, there is a huge demand for political and advocacy groups to tap into that audience. From our shareable videos to our social posts, there’s a massive opportunity and I can’t wait to get started,” Shapiro said in a statement.

We, on the other hand, would gladly wait.

Regardless . . .

Money quote:

It’s not the first time BuzzFeed has ventured into native ads for politicians. In 2012, the site hosted several native advertisements for candidates, which consisted of BuzzFeed-style articles. This will take things a step further and more akin to BuzzFeed’s successful Friskies cat food native ads.

Representative sample:



File under: Politics is the art of the pussyble.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Norman Mailer Had Hillary Clinton Down Cold 20 Years Ago

Yesterday the dustupping staff happened upon Norman Mailer’s essay Clinton and Dole: The War of the Oxymorons, which ran in the cuppa coffee George magazine, and came across this digression about Hillary Rodham Clinton at the 1996 Democratic National Convention that nominated The Bubba to run for a second term as president.

One could see why so many Americans disliked her. She was decompressing the presidency. She was pretending to be near to the people, but the nature of her position made that impossible. We laugh at the English royals when they pay their visits to factory workers, but at least they remain royal. Hillary was pretending she was one of us, and it was hardly true.

Her speech:



Back to Mailer:

During the half hour she spoke, there were more than seventy references to children, to mother and father, to family. It no longer had anything to do with politics. There she was, absolutely in place, ice-blond, a saint to her gender even as she proceeded to talk about PTA solutions to profound problems.

And the kicker:

None of the real questions came into her purview, nothing about the sleazy quality of so many American products advertised to the hilt, nothing trenchant about the waste of the ghettos, the paucity of good wages among working people, the fever of global capitalism to send the profits to the top rather than sharing some of the wealth with those who made the stuff.

(To be fair graf goes here)

To be fair, Clinton does give lip service to the latter two these days, but she still is very much “absolutely in place, ice-blond, a saint to her gender even as she [proceeds] to talk about PTA solutions to profound problems.”

Plus ça change, non?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Presidential Ad Flashbacks (1952 Campaign Songs Edition)

First in a series from our Dustup 2016 NostADgia® desk

The first presidential campaign television commercials ran in 1952 (the Eisenhower/Stevenson I bakeoff.)

At the time, apparently, the inaugural political admakers thought that borrowing from the entertainment world might be a good approach. Thus, the campaign song.

Via the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project:

“I Like Ike”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

An almost purely positive piece about candidate personality, this is from the campaign of Republican Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. A catchy jingle, along with lyrics not totally devoid of substance, it is essentially a device for reminding voters of their personal attachment to the most popular living American of his time. In this regard, note the closing theme that “we’ll take Ike to Washington”. Jingles were one of the early approaches to televised campaign advertising that would eventually go out of fashion.

The spot itself (cartoon visuals compliments of Walt Disney Studios).



We especially like the sad-sack donkeys in the ad.


Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 12.45.54 AM


(Fun fact to know and tell: Irving Berlin also wrote a campaign song for Ike.)

On the flip side, there was this TV spot for Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson.

[Editor’s note: The earworming staff apologizes for any residual effects of this video.]



Favorite riff #1:

He is the Gov who brings the dove of peace and joy.

Seriously? In 1952, the U.S. was in the muddle of the Korean War, for God’s sake. Who do you want in charge: The Man Who Saved the World From Hitler, or a guy who can’t even take care of his shoes?

Favorite riff #2:

Didn’t know much about him before he came.

But now my heart’s the ballot that bears his name.

We just can’t.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

‘South Park’ Invades Donald Trump’s South Parts

From our To Know Trump desk

Full disclosure: The dustupping staff is not a regular viewer of Comedy Central’s South Park, but we’ve always admired the show’s ability to not give a damn what anyone thinks about it.

And never more so than in the latest South Park episode, described thusly by Marlow Stern in The Daily Beast.

(Official Dustup 2016 Trigger Warning [pat. pending] goes here)

‘South Park’ Depicts the Brutal Rape of Donald Trump

The animated TV series waited until its 19th season to take on Donald Trump. It didn’t disappoint.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.29.29 AM

South Park takes no prisoners.

This is, after all, the show that once labeled Kanye West “gay fish,” took on the Muslim prophet Muhammad (a big no-no in terrorist circles), and revealed U2’s Bono to be the record holder for world’s biggest poop (the turd turned out to be Bono himself—a man had taken a dump in 1960 and raised the piece of shit as Bono) . . .

But, with the the exception of an all-too-brief Season 5 cameo, the show’s steered clear of eviscerating Donald Trump. So naturally, fans of the gleefully anarchic TV series were curious as to when the blowhardiest of the blowhards would receive his animated comeuppance. Well, it finally came in the Season 19 episode, “Where My Country Gone?” and the timing couldn’t have been better.

Money quote:

Mr. Garrison eventually finds himself in the penthouse office of Donald Trump, and the two engage in a wrestling match on Trump’s ugly orange carpet. Then, Mr. Garrison follows through with his promise, raping Donald Trump to death. Yikes.

You’d think that would cause quite a Trumpus, wouldn’t you? The Daily Beast’s Stern certainly did.

Now let’s all brace for Trump’s inevitable response: branding Parker and Stone “total losers” with “no class.”

And yet . . .

Here’s @realDonaldTrump 24 hours after Stern’s piece.


Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 1.07.52 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 1.08.23 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 1.08.51 AM


Our prediction: You will never see Donald Trump refer to that episode of “South Park,” because it just might result in Trump’s 4.28 million followers actually watching the show.

Truth is, Trump wants that episode to die like Kenny.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Attention @realDonaldTrump: Hugh Hewitt Blew It

Popular conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt – who tied Donald Trump to the whipping post recently over Middle East affairs, then folded like origami when he was criticized for it – took to Politico yesterday to do the crystal ball thing on presidential odds.

Hugh Hewitt gives Donald Trump 25 percent shot at winning nomination


Hugh Hewitt—who (in)famously challenged Donald Trump’s iffy knowledge of world affairs in a headline-grabbing interview with the front-runnerthinks Trump has just a 25 percent chance of winning the GOP nomination.

He gives Trump about the same odds as cash-rich, poll-poor Jeb Bush.

That leaves a 50 percent chance of a who-the-hell-knows winner . . .

But still leaves Trump top-of-the-heap. Not to get technical about it.

Regardless, Hewitt also said this:

“I put Walker, Rubio, Fiorina and Cruz as possibly running the board in the next level. And I don’t know if the other ones actually have paths forward.”

That piece of punditry was posted around noon yesterday. Six hours later, Scott Walker dropped out of the presidential race.

So much for Hugh Hewitt’s political perceptiveness.

Meanwhile . . . hey, @realDonaldTrump, where’s the payback for Hewitt’s humiliating you on national radio? Or are you too busy air-kissing with Hewitt now to call him out?

That’s right, Mr. GOP Hair Apparent – we’re calling you out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dead Blogging Round Two of the GOP Presidential Rumpus

In the interest of full disclosure, the dustupping staff should mention that we lost interest in last night’s CNN Republican Presidential Debate around the time Ben Carson spoke about hizzzzzz . . .


Regardless, here’s some dotsam and netsam from the GOP bakeoff.

• CNN moderator Jake Tapper was too intent on being the Debate Alpha Dog. He should have subjugated his agenda to the voters’ agenda.

• Favorite moment:



• Want to get technical about it? Politico fact-checks here, CNN here.

• Afterwards, @realDonaldTrump was all a-Twitter.


Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 1.40.31 AM


• Liberal take (via the New York Times):

Candidates Use Second G.O.P. Debate to Taunt Donald Trump

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 1.49.32 AM

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Determined to prove their mettle, several Republican presidential candidates showed new aggressiveness in lacing into Donald J. Trump on Wednesday night, seeking to elevate themselves as leaders of substance and shake up a race that Mr. Trump has dominated all summer.

While moderators at the CNN debate tried repeatedly to pit one Republican after another against Mr. Trump, the candidates fought to break out of that dynamic, with Carly Fiorina emerging as an especially tenacious combatant who provided some of the few moments where Mr. Trump looked uncomfortable.

Of course, any time Donald Trump is uncomfortable, well, that’s comforting.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jeb Bush Super PAC Depicts Jeb Bush As Cipher

From our Whiskey Tango Foxtrot desk

The Bush-Industrial Complex has finally decided to spend some of its hundred-something millions to kick-start the Frère Apparent’s presidential campaign.

From CNN:

Jeb Bush super PAC drops $24 million on ads

Let the air wars begin.

Right to Rise, the super PAC supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign, is laying down $24 million for an ad buy that begins Tuesday in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to a source familiar with buy.

The major purchase comes as the political arm of the outside group Club for Growth announced ads taking on Donald Trump’s record on fiscal issues. The ads could shift the dynamics in a race where Bush has been sliding as Trump has grown in strength.

“We’re moving beyond the earned media phase into more of an air wave where Bush’s money advantage can now begin to make a difference in the early state contests,” said Republican Strategist Kevin Madden.

Earned media? More like burned media. So far in the presidential campaign, Bush has been buffeted from pillar to Post.

But the ad from Right to Rise is supposed to right all that.



Seriously? With this as the first image of Bush?


Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 1.17.53 AM


Can’t wait for @realDonaldTrump to jump all over that.

Actually, can’t believe he hasn’t already (as of 1:30 Wednesday morning).

C’mon, Hair Apparent – step up your game, eh?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment