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Jerry's First Ad, and Breaking Through the Lies

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    Jerry Brown's first campaign commercial presents Brown as a force for calm in Sacramento.

    Jerry Brown's first ad, now up on the web, reminds me of an ad that Gov. Schwarzenegger wanted to run, but never did, during the 2005 special eleciton in which he took a beating from public employees unions. (See ad below)

    Schwarzenegger wanted his consultants to produce an ad that would show screens full of his union opponents' own ads. Then, the governor thought, he should break through the screen (as if it were a piece of paper) and tell folks the truth. "I break through the lies," was how Schwarzenegger described the concept.

    Brown's ad does something similar. He uses audio from the negative ads of the Republican gubernatorial contenders -- Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner -- and notes how many ads there have been. (There haven't been 100,000 ads--that appears to be a reference to how many times their ads have appeared on TV). Brown comes in at the end to talk about the need for the state to work together.

    It's a fine beginning, though there's one very false note. The screen text takes a blast at "politicians" as it notes that they argue even as more than 2 million Californians are out of work. Politicians running against politicians is as American as apple pie, but I'm not sure it's a credible message coming from Brown, who has been in and out of public office in this state since 1969. He's a politician -- just like Whitman and Poizner. He should admit as much and focus on developing an approach to the state's considerable fiscal problems.