Gibbons plays up wrestler angle in first tv ad

Jim Gibbons, a former NCAA champion wrestler and coach, included a heavy dose of wrestling imagery in his first television ad, which goes up in central Iowa today:

Rough transcript and some analysis are after the jump.

Here’s my rough transcript:

(visual of two young wrestlers shaking hands and practicing) Gibbons voice-over: I learned a lot on a mat like this as a wrestler and a coach. Set goals. Make a plan. Be dedicated. Work hard. Lead your team by listening.

(Gibbons steps into frame in front of wrestling mat, speaks to camera) I’m Jim Gibbons, and I used these lessons as I became a financial adviser. (shots of Gibbons advising clients) Help families save for the future, control spending and balance budgets. (Gibbons speaks to camera again) I’m running for Congress to stop wasteful spending, lower taxes and grow Iowa jobs. I’m Jim Gibbons, and I approved this message not because I can still do that (gestures toward wrestling mat), but because I’ll always fight for you.

This commercial strikes me as a lot better than Gibbons’ first web video, which gave the viewer no sense of what the candidate stands for. The production values are also better. I don’t think many financial advisers are helping their clients control spending or balance the family budget, but I get the connection he’s trying to make.

Over at The Iowa Republican, Craig Robinson (a big promoter of Gibbons’ candidacy from the beginning) sees a lot of upside for Gibbons:

Having outraised his primary opponents by a large margin over the last five months, his advantage in the race will now be more apparent to voters. The ad will also allow him to build his name ID across the district, while also defining the issues that his campaign will focus on. It is likely that Gibbons will be on TV from now through the June 8th primary.

Gibbons chief opponent, State Senator Brad Zaun, was the first candidate in the race to run a TV ad. Zaun ran a TV ad back in January, but his buy only totaled about $2,800. was told that the Gibbons TV buy is more in line with what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent on ads thanking Congressman Boswell for this vote for President Obama’s healthcare plan.

Being the first candidate in the race to begin a TV campaign has a lot of advantages. Right now, the only political candidate that Gibbons is sharing the TV with is Terry Branstad. As the primary day approaches, more and more candidates will be running TV ads, which means that it will be more difficult to communicate a message due to all of the political clutter. For the 2nd and 3rd congressional candidates, it could get especially cluttered since both districts share some of the Cedar Rapids media market.

The other advantage to running ads now is a significant one. People are already casting their votes for the June 8th primary via absentee ballots and satellite voting locations. Having a positive ad up and running during this period of time may help Gibbons pick up some early votes.

From where I’m sitting, Gibbons needed to get his name out there. I’ve seen approximately 20 yard signs for Zaun for every one for Gibbons. Then again, I live not far from Zaun’s stronghold (Urbandale).

State Senator Zaun and Dave Funk (the tea party favorite) will not be able to afford nearly as much paid advertising as Gibbons. Moderate Republican Mark Rees may be up on the air soon if he hasn’t changed his plan to commit $200,000 of his own money to his campaign.

What does the Bleeding Heartland community think of this commercial and/or the third district Republican primary?

  • bland talking points

    I agree on the production value question.  Zaun is so much more qualified to be in Congress.  Zaun’s run a city and a budget.  It’s easy to take the Funk approach of just saying you want to tear down the entire federal government or continue with the bland talking points Gibbons offers.  I don’t want to see Zaun in Congress, but if he doesn’t dominate at the polls we will know that the Republican base is just angry and doesn’t actually want to govern.  

  • it is a basic commercial.....

    Gibbons is doing nothing at all to differ from Zaun in platform positions, and if that is the case, that continues to favor Zaun greatly, as Zaun has the huge poll lead.

    The residency issue is getting bigger and bigger and now we know that Gibbons has not voted in a primary in 18 years despite claiming on Deace last night he has been “very involved in republican politics” in the past.  Laughable.

    The signs in other areas of Des Moines seem to be at that same 20 Zaun to 1 Gibbons ratio, but Rees does have a few signs up in West Des Moines.

    In another matter, lines were forming at the Urbandale Libary today at 4 pm for voting.  Zaun had a robocall to get voters out last night and poll watchers said it was “very very busy” today.  Got to give credit to the Zaun team for a great strategy to get this voting set up in Zaun strongholds before Gibbons even spent his great fortune.

    • Gibbons, stance

      I have heard him speak, he wants to reduce the deficit.  He understands that we are handing a debt to our children that is going to detrimentaly affect their lives.  Liberals don’t get this.  They are takers, take from people who have worked hard and give it to people who have made bad decisions or don’t work hard. Period.  If you don’t like that too bad, that is the truth.  

      All you bleeding hearts are clueless, you think by robbing from the rich and giving to the poor you are actually accomplishing something.   If you take away peoples ability to invest through taxation, you eliminate the abiltiy for the economy to grow. Look at our economy now, the stimulus plan is really working, not. The private sector drives the economy, not big government.  

      People in this country need to start getting back to hard work and values and quit hoping the government is going to take care of them when they screw up, or decide they don’t want to try improve their lives.

      • you are clueless

        If you think that the working poor and middle class families having trouble making ends meet are just lazy or made bad decisions.

        • Constructive debate


        • Clueless

          Answer this question.  Why is teenage and prganancy of unwed mothers at an all time high.  Why is that happening.  There you go clueless answer that question.

          • abstinence-only sex ed?

            That’s probably one reason.

            • clueless

              have you been to a public school lately, sex education is not the reason.  Kids get their fair dose of what it takes to get pragnent. They know the score.    This is a choice in many instances, becuase we have made it into a choice.  That is our first problem, it is now acceptable to have a kid the minute you can reproduce.  It is acceptable becuase we offer support to single mothers to the extent that it is a alternative to work, the government will take care of you if you have offspring, therefore make babies. We need to stop rewarding irresponsible behavior.  

              I know this becuase i am in the educational field.  I see social workers come to the school and sign these girls up for every government program under the sun. We reduce the funding in these programs, we will reduce teenage pragnency.  I also see the children that come from these situations and most are born into poverty and live in poverty their whole childhoods. And in most instances are not well cared for, most single mothers are not equiped with the maturity level to care for a child properly.  Kids should not be having kids, period.  we need to discourage this at all costs.  You eliminate this problem and it will raise our educational success overnight, that raises everyones standard of living and goverment out of peoples lives.    

              • Dear Hambone...

                You say you work in the educational field?  Perhaps having people working in education who cannot spell (it’s spelled “p-r-e-g-n-a-n-t”, by the way), and have no sense of punctuation and capitalization are factors contributing to our general decline.  

                And before you jump on me for being some “liberal elitist”, there is something you should know. I only have a ninth grade formal education, coming out of the Iowa educational system as it existed in the 1960’s and 70’s.

                The Harold Hughes and Robert Ray years, when Iowa led the nation in literacy.

                I rated your comment a “1” out of embarrassment.

                • clueless

                   I was not aware that i had to make sure i had my punctation correct on a message board, my apologies.  Iowa is currently in the top 4 in the country, not top dog, but nothing to sneeze at either.  

                  The core problems are not the educational systems in my belief. I am not saying this becuase I am in the education field.   I think there are more powerful forces at work,  i.e the family.  The rise of non-traditional households has a direct affect on our educational decline.  That is the root problem, if you don’t take care of that you can’t fix the problem.    

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