I wrote last week that Congressman Leonard Boswell’s closing argument is “I’m loyal, he voted for Nader.” A radio ad I heard in the car on Monday confirmed that impression.
I couldn’t jot down notes and have been unable to find an audio file of this ad on the web, but I will update this post with that information if someone can send it to me.
The ad used a female voice-over rather than Boswell’s voice. The first part of the ad relayed positive information about the incumbent:
-The teachers have endorsed Boswell because of his work on education.
-The nurses have endorsed Boswell because of his work on health care.
-Working families support Boswell because he stands up for them.
-Al Gore and Tom Harkin are also supporting Boswell.
Then the ad shifts gears with language about how it’s a different story with Ed Fallon. Fallon supported Ralph Nader over Al Gore in 2000. Because Fallon campaigned for Nader instead of Gore, Democrats have been stuck with eight years of President George W. Bush, with a lousy economy and an unending war in Iraq.
All of the above is a paraphrase based on my best recollection. If anyone else has heard this ad (or better yet, has a recording of it), I would love to post a more precise version of its contents.
On one level, I am not surprised that Boswell is talking about Nader in his radio ads, because that is clearly his trump card.
On the other hand, I expected Boswell to stick to all-positive advertising in broadcast media. Typically an incumbent does not go negative on a primary challenger unless there is some concern about the outcome.
By the way, on Saturday and Monday I didn’t receive any direct-mail from either Boswell’s campaign or the anti-Fallon group Independent Voices.
As far as I can tell, the Boswell campaign’s attempt to draw a contrast between Boswell and Fallon regarding methamphetamine got no traction in any Iowa mainstream media. Please correct me if I am wrong, and let me know if you have seen media reports on that issue in the past couple of days.
UPDATE: Boswell’s campaign manager Scott Ourth sent out his final mass e-mail yesterday. I’ve put the full text after the jump.
Look back on the life and times of Leonard Boswell and you will see a life-scape defined by devotion to family, community, and country. His values were instilled by honest, hard-working parents; his work ethic forged on the anvil of a hard-scrabble southern Iowa farm. The breadth of his courage was brought into sharp relief many times in the heat of combat, and his selfless devotion has taken shape again and again as his career of tireless service has developed.
When his farm and those of his neighbors was threatened by the worst farm crisis since the Great Depression, Leonard Boswell used his negotiating skill to secure solid, manageable financing for farmers who had played by the rules. As president of his local co-op, he was directly responsible for insuring that the coop and local family farms– by involving the communities — were saved from going into receivership, thereby rescuing livelihoods and preserving a deeply important community business.
Soon after, his neighbors came to him and asked him to represent them in the Iowa Senate, and a job he never sought was given to him by his community in the election of 1984. A few years later his colleagues, recognizing a special brand of leadership, made him president of the Senate.
Finally, it should be remembered that this son of Iowa was decorated numerous times for courage under fire, many times risking his own life to save that of a fellow serviceman.
It is this same mix of courage, values, ethics, and ingenuity that Congressman Leonard Boswell brings to the United States House of Representatives. These are the characteristics that compelled us to send Leonard to Congress in the first place. It is his character that makes us proud to send him back again.
During his tenure in Congress, Leonard Boswell has brought tens of millions of dollars to Iowa for infrastructure development and improvement. This has resulted in thousands of high-paying, non-exportable jobs for Iowa’s working men and women. He has worked to increase the Pell grant for those seeking a college education and to reduce interest on student loans. He worked to create a meaningful GI bill for our returning veterans. He has worked tirelessly for universal health care for our children. And Congressman Boswell is determined to bring our men and women in uniform home from this senseless war in Iraq.
Leonard Boswell has had our best interests at heart since the early days. He is more prepared than ever before to continue to fight for you and me, our children and grandchildren.
Because of your hard work and generosity, our campaign has been competitive and vigorous since we first heard the Congressman was being challenged. I just wanted to thank you for all you’ve done, for your tremendous support. We are in the final hours now; it all comes down to votes. If you have not voted already remember to vote at your precinct polling place tomorrow. The polls will be open from 7am to 9pm tomorrow, June 3.
Thank you again for your support. When Leonard Bowell wins, we all win.
In Democratic loyalty,
Boswell for Congress
PS – Don’t forget to stop by the congressman’s Election Night celebration at the Hotel Ft. Des Moines, second floor, the Wedgewood Room. The gala begins at 8:30pm!!