Trump silent in his ads, Clin­ton talks chil­dren

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASHINGTON:

Donald Trump has shown more than 586 hours of tele­vi­sion ads in the gen­eral elec­tion, and un­til now some­thing has been miss­ing: his voice. There is no footage of him speak­ing, no archival record­ings to build out his life story and no di­rect-to-cam­era ap­peals to vot­ers. He doesn’t ut­ter a word other than the legally re­quired record­ing, “I’m Donald Trump, and I ap­prove this mes­sage,” at the end of his com­mer­cials.

That’s about to change. In one of the fi­nal ads of the race, the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee will take his case to the vot­ers, his cam­paign says. Amer­i­cans have been sub­jected to more than $500 mil­lion in TV ads - $88 mil­lion and count­ing just this week - since the con­test be­tween Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton be­gan in June.

With the elec­tion days away, The As­so­ci­ated Press an­a­lyzed Kan­tar Me­dia’s ad data to find out what the can­di­dates have been telling vot­ers about them­selves. The re­view cov­ered 22 Trump cam­paign ads and 68 by the Clin­ton cam­paign, which had aired more than 311,000 times by Mon­day on na­tional net­works, lo­cal broad­cast chan­nels and na­tional cable sta­tions.

AP found a lack of Trump’s voice in his own com­mer­cials and an over­abun­dance of his words in Clin­ton’s. That’s helped drive what is by far the most dominant mes­sage of gen­eral elec­tion ad­ver­tis­ing, that each can­di­date be­lieves the other is un­fit for the White House. Trump has been silent in his ads be­cause his cam­paign wanted them “not be cen­tered around him but the move­ment it­self,” said Jes­sica Ditto, a Trump spokes­woman.

A dif­fer­ent view: The cam­paign “may have con­cluded that vot­ers like the idea of Trump more than the ac­tual Trump,” said Will Rit­ter, co-founder of the Repub­li­can ad firm Pool­house and an out­spo­ken Trump critic. “They could worry that when he opens his mouth, peo­ple are re­minded he is in no way pre­pared to be pres­i­dent.” That’s what Clin­ton’s cam­paign is hop­ing.

More than half of her ads hold Trump against him­self, the AP found. They fea­ture Trump ap­pear­ing to mock a dis­abled re­porter, us­ing pro­fan­ity at ral­lies, seem­ing to threaten to use nu­clear weapons and mak­ing dis­parag­ing and preda­tory com­ments about women. To ham­mer Clin­ton, Trump’s ads talk about Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server while sec­re­tary of state, her re­sponse to the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Beng­hazi and her un­trust­wor­thi­ness.

Be­neath the avalanche of at­tack ads are pos­i­tive - some­times even is­sues-fo­cused - com­mer­cials. Clin­ton has an ad solely on the im­por­tance of clean en­ergy, while Trump has one about the need to put coal min­ers back to work. But nei­ther can­di­date is fo­cus­ing ads on is­sues he or she brings while cam­paign­ing, the AP found. At his gi­ant ral­lies, Trump fre­quently says he’ll redo trade deals. That topic gets few men­tions in his ad­ver­tis­ing. When she’s ad­dress­ing sup­port­ers, Clin­ton vows to make wealthy peo­ple pay their fair share by in­creas­ing taxes. She’s barely talk­ing about that in ads.

Clin­ton is­sue ads

Clin­ton’s chief ad­ver­tis­ing mes­sage is that she fights for chil­dren. Her ads dive into photo and video ar­chives to show­case those parts of her resume, and actor Mor­gan Free­man de­scribes Clin­ton in melo­di­ous cadence as “a woman who spent her life help­ing chil­dren and fam­i­lies.” While only two less fre­quent Trump ads men­tion chil­dren, such ads dom­i­nate more than half of Clin­ton’s bar­rage of com­mer­cials.

“I’ve spent my life fight­ing for chil­dren, and I’m not stop­ping now,” Clin­ton says in an ad that’s been broad­cast more than any other dur­ing the gen­eral elec­tion. The spot does not go into spe­cific pol­icy or achieve­ments, but shows Clin­ton over the decades talk­ing about chil­dren. The same mes­sage is de­liv­ered in a new, end-of-cam­paign spot that has rock­eted to the top of her play list. This one shows par­ents mark­ing off the heights of their kids as Clin­ton says a coun­try is judged by what it does for its chil­dren.

Clin­ton strate­gist Joel Be­nen­son said such ads re­mind peo­ple of the work Clin­ton has done and tell vot­ers some­thing they may not know about her work for chil­dren, fam­i­lies and women. He also said it strikes a clear con­trast with Trump. “Donald Trump has a life­time of re­ally stiff­ing av­er­age peo­ple and putting him­self first all the time,” he said.— AP

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