If you haven't already seen this week's Meek campaign ad, get ready to laugh so hard that you fall out of your chair and can't find your way back from the 1950s again. That's apparently what Meek's campaign staff is doing, anyway, because every time I call them, I get a different person, who tells me a different person is going to call me, who never does. Jeff Greene's campaign may be a caricature of ridiculousness (although I do think it'd be on-point if instead of running for senate, he was up for Steak of the Month Club prez), but at least his staff's organized enough to do PR/damage control.
Anyway, the spot's interesting. First, it's much more personality than we've seen out of Kendrick Meek, who has a touch of John Kerry syndrome--he's not all that memorable. It
lampoons Jeff Greene as an Eddie Haskell, a troublesome figure whom we should not take seriously, and goes hard on Greene for the fortune he made betting against the housing market. That's smart, since Greene, who originally blew his bullhorn to announce he "took on Wall Street and won," has ditched that tune in his Web ad launch.
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"The only thing we know about Jeff Greene is he's really, really wealthy," says Dr. Daniel Smith, director of the Political Campaigning Program at the University of Florida. "He's trying to get ahead of any criticism on how he amassed that wealth."
But really, Meek tells us, he's just like Haskell trying to get Wally to not go to church.
Is it over-the-top? Absolutely. It is memorable, though, and I have to wonder why Meek is spending so much time on Greene. Why not use this humor/personality cocktail to tell everyone who Meek is, rather than spotlight his not-so-threatening rival?
And, uh, is June Cleaver supposed to be Meek?