June 07–State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., a Democratic candidate for Maryland governor, has launched a TV ad you wouldn’t have predicted only a few years ago.
The theme of the 30-second spot is “Take that, Trump,” and it focuses on the actions Madaleno has taken in his General Assembly career that would offend President Donald J. Trump.
Its kicker: Madaleno kissing his husband, Mark Hodge.
The campaign claims it is the first-ever kiss of a same-sex married couple in a U.S. political ad.
The ad will run on Montgomery County cable and on “Fox & Friends” in the Washington TV market.
What the ad says: The ad opens with the Montgomery County Democrat sitting on a stoop in front of a red brick house, telling viewers he’s running for governor “to deliver progressive results and stand up to Donald Trump. Here are a few of the things I’ve done that already infuriate him.”
The scene shifts to Madaleno standing with a group of children holding signs. “I protected Planned Parenthood from the Republicans in Congress.”
“Take that, Trump,” says a girl.
The scene shifts to the candidate with a new group of children holding pro-gun control signs. “I helped ban assault guns in Maryland,” Madaleno says.
“Take that, NRA,” a young boy says.
The ad moves to Madaleno with a third group of children. “I believe in public schools, not vouchers,” he says.
“Take that, Trump,” a girl says. “And Betsy DeVos,” a boy chimes in. The kids cheer.
“And what’s the No. 1 way I piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans?” Madaleno asks.
Sitting with his husband and their two adopted African-American children, he kisses Hodge briefly on the lips.
“Take that, Trump,” he says.
The facts: The positions Madaleno stakes out in the ad are all consistent with his record as a liberal leader in the Maryland Senate. Whether Trump knows enough about what Madaleno has accomplished to be infuriated is speculative. Certainly his positions are at odds with Trump’s.
Analysis: There is no mention of Gov. Larry Hogan, whom Madaleno wants to challenge in November. Instead the senator positions himself as the most effective anti-Trump candidate in the field. And he certainly embraces his identity as the only openly gay candidate. It’s clearly a primary season ad that you might not see in a general election.
The children deliver their lines expertly. The ad is clearly intended to grab attention and get people talking.
The campaign’s plan to run the ad on cable in progressive Montgomery County is a no-brainer. The plan to run it on the pro-Trump “Fox & Friends” in D.C. is aimed at trolling one avid viewer in particular.
“We wanted to make sure the president had an opportunity to see this ad, and went with the network he tunes into,” said Keith Presley, Madaleno’s campaign manager.
Is Madaleno hoping to provoke a presidential tweetstorm? That would be a worthy return on investment indeed.
This article provided by NewsEdge.