Dissecting a Norm Coleman Campaign Commercial

Norm Coleman has pulled many of his campaign ads from YouTube after coming to the conclusion that going negative against a smart, reasonable, nice guy like Al Franken wasn’t working.

I decided to take a closer look at one of the ads that he didn’t pull called “Kudos.” This ad attempts to show examples of great stuff Senator Coleman has done over his past six years in office:

I could see how this would be an effective ad when viewed on TV. It’s inspirational, fast paced, and includes lots of pull quotes to back up what the narrator is saying.

Quote Check

The story this ad tries to tell gets murky when you hit pause and try to figure out where those pull quotes came from and what they refer to. Let’s take a look:

Norm Coleman's "Kudos" Ad

“A watchdog.” I’ve looked through the StarTribune’s stories and can’t find this term used to describe Norm Coleman. I see that a watchdog group asked his committee to do something about an issue. And I see that Rich G used the term in the comments of a Kersten column.

Norm Coleman's "Kudos" Ad

“A vote of confidence in D.C. accountability.” I found this one. It refers to a bipartisan bill “to extend the term of Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.” The bill was actually written by Susan Collins from Maine and Russ Feingold from Wisconsin. Coleman later joined on as a co-sponsor along with Joe Lieberman. That doesn’t stop him from inferring that he played a larger role.

This certainly wasn’t an “independent” move on Coleman’s behalf. Bowen has worked in various positions in Texas and DC for George W Bush going back to 1994.

Norm Coleman's "Kudos" Ad

Oh, they definitely attracted the attention of the world. George Galloway’s dressing down of Norm Coleman is legendary. That came from a fawning piece in the right-leaning US News & World report.

Norm Coleman's "Kudos" Ad

Here’s the story this one comes from:

TheHill.com – Kudos to Coleman

The 109th Congress was often accused of failing to conduct its oversight responsibilities with any seriousness. This, it is frequently said, is substantially responsible for corruption on Capitol Hill and incompetence in the administration going unchecked.

But yesterday there was news of at least one piece of highly praiseworthy congressional oversight that has clearly exposed a nuclear security loophole through which terrorists could drive a truck bomb.

So The Hill says that Norm basically sucked at oversight for the entire year with one exception.

Norm Coleman's "Kudos" Ad

Ibid. Seriously, it’s from the same news story from The Hill as as the one above.

Norm Coleman's "Kudos" Ad

I can’t find a mention of this one in the Philadelphia Inquirer. If you can, let me know.

Norm Coleman's "Kudos" Ad

OMG, he went back to that same editorial in The Hill for a third time.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s

Claiming the work of others as your own: 1
Spin: 1
Mystery quotes: 2
Multiple quotes from same article: 3

That’s it after six years in Washington. And now he wants another six.

It’s worth pointing out that there is a better way to do pull-quotes: include the publication date with the quote.

For a good example of this, check out this ad by the Franken campaign:

Coleman’s ad relies on people incorrectly assuming that The Hill ran three stories that generated one pull-quote each while in reality he pulled three quotes from one. Franken’s ads, on the other hand, are saying, “here’s what was said, where it was said, and when it was said.” That’s real accountability.

7 thoughts on “Dissecting a Norm Coleman Campaign Commercial”

  1. Pingback: Ed Kohler Dissects A Norm Coleman Ad | MNpublius.com
  2. While your agrument on this blog is better than your trolling on youtube, it is no more less “deceptive” than you allege Norm Coleman’s ad to be.
    First of all, you talk about Al Franken being a nice, smart, reasonable guy. What evidence do we have that he is any of the above? Graduated from Harvard? Well Bush grauated from Yale, and Bill O’Reilley received a masters from Harvard. Oh and Jesse Ventua was invited as a fellow of some sort. Also, this is a guy who could not find a competent accountant (is this the judgement and “smarts” we are looking for) – and signed a disposition knowing that Air America took an illegal loan from the Boys and Girls club of New York.
    If in fact that he was not called a “watchdog” by a Star Tribune writer and a commentator, what difference does that make? Is a commentaor’s opinion any less than Nick Coleman or Katherine Kersten?
    You also talk about “riding the coattails” of Collins and Feingold. Coleman is not claiming he was the soul sponsor of the bill. Even by co-sponsoring the bill it shows more courage than Al Franken did by coming out AFTER the bailout bill passed to make his statement. Also onto deceptive Franken ads, what proof do we have that his cutesy re-creation of the Wellstone running story was not re-created frame by frame to debunk a commercial with clips of his true nature?

  3. So why would you take the side of “Oil for Food” and Galloway (who was censured in his own country). Coleman turned out to be right on this one, and apparently you find more satisfaction on him being grand standed by an individual who lost respect in his own country?

  4. Deets! Excellent job digging under the fluffy statements in those TV ads.

    I recommend everyone click into that Galloway link above, because it is all too easy to forget and ignore that situation even though it is only 3 years ago.

    Galloway does an excellent job looking directly at the panel for 4 minutes straight, no notes, no stuttering stumbling mumbling, and rattles off one hell of an impressive statement.

    The entire last minute of which is giving Coleman a list of investigative options far greater than what was being pandered about…areas that Norm completely ignored to investigate, probably because Cheney called him up following Galloway’s appearance and told him to stop immediately.

    Now, you might say Norm, being a first termer who never was a real prosecutor, shouldn’t have been put into that oversight position of great importance.

    My point EXACTLY.

    If he refuses to and cannot do the job he was elected by us to do…
    if his GOP party with its corruption and cronyism cannot put the right people in the right jobs to improve our once great country…
    –then it is our responsibility to vote him/them out. And I intend to do my part.

  5. The Philadelphia Inquirer quote is from a 6/21/2005 editorial titled “Don’t let contractors off the hook.” Excerpt: “Is it too much to ask that contractors who do business with the federal government pay their taxes? Of course not. But the Treasury Department, responsible for enforcing this simple concept, acts as if it’s too much trouble to ensure tax cheaters are not rewarded with government contracts.

    A study by the Government Accountability Office found that more than 33,000 businesses and individuals with non-defense government contracts owe the federal government more than $3.3 billion in unpaid taxes. …

    A Senate subcommittee headed by Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., has done a valuable service by highlighting these abuses. But more, obviously, needs to be done.”

    The Star Tribune quote is from a 7/10/2008 editorial titled “Dead doctor scam is a new low for Medicare.” Excerpt: “Since 2000, scammers using the billing identities of dead doctors have bilked the federal program out of as much as $92 million. To make matters worse, Medicare became aware of the problem in 2001, promised to fix it, and then kept honoring claims from thousands of deceased physicians. In some cases, the doctors had died years before. …

    Coleman, Levin and other Medicare watchdogs deserve praise for documenting yet another serious problem and initiating steps to end it.”

    The Coleman campaign provided full citations for the quotes in their press release announcing the ad.

  6. Why would I take the side of Galloway? Easy, he was right and Coleman was mid-guided into investigating another country’s problem.

    In what way was Coleman right? Galloway was his country’s problem (and censured, clap clap, problem solved), so why out of all the things needing oversight is this Coleman’s priority?

    Galloway in his testimony gave Norm a half dozen AMERICAN issues in need of oversight, why was Coleman not handling those?

    Because there was another group doing oversight…you mean like a whole other country’s oversight group like in Galloway’s case?

    But, that’s Norm. A windsock, not a leader, not someone rolling up sleeves getting to the source of problems, just another very able, but political hack who knows how to serve the power and do what is ‘politically correct’. After all these years, I expect more from a career politician than to just take orders.

    Is Barkley better, Franken has been thoughtful on issues, who’s the guy…I’m not sure, but I know I’m ready for a change.

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