IA-01: Braley on the air with positive tv ad

Three-term Democratic Representative Bruce Braley launched his first television commercial of the 2012 campaign today. After the jump I’ve posted the video and transcript of the 30-second ad, along with reaction from the National Republican Congressional Committee. Last month the NRCC elevated Braley’s repeat challenger Ben Lange to the top tier of its “young guns” program.

Democrats have a voter registration advantage in Iowa new first Congressional district, but no-party voters have a plurality.  

My annotated transcript:

Bruce Braley speaks to the camera, wearing casual clothes in an outdoor setting: In the movies, growing up in Brooklyn meant the rough and tumble of New York.  Well, I grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa, where I learned it’s less important how loud you talk than how well you listen. [words “Bruce Braley” are on screen as he speaks]

Braley’s voice continues: My dad served in World War II and my mom was a schoolteacher. [view shifts to black and white photo of Braley’s father in uniform, then to black and white photo of Braley’s mother standing with four children in front of what looks like a family car]

Braley’s voice continues: They taught me what it meant to work hard, meet your responsibilities, respect your community and your country. [footage of Braley shaking hands with people working in a restaurant, holding a small child while talking to the child’s mother, talking with other young people]

Braley speaks to camera again: I’m Bruce Braley and I approved this message because in tough times, those are the values that make Iowa special and keep America strong. [As Braley says “those are the values,” the view shifts to Braley wearing a hardhat, talking with someone on a factory site, then Braley walking and talking with a farmer. Words on screen: Braley Works for Iowa, BruceBraley.com]  

Excerpt from a Braley for Congress press release (emphasis in original):

The 30 second spot, titled “Brooklyn,” features Braley speaking directly to voters about the values he learned growing up in Poweshiek County: working hard, meeting your responsibilities, and respecting your community and your country.  Braley’s father served in the Marines during World War II and fought on Iwo Jima, and his mother still works as a substitute teacher in Brooklyn, Iowa.

“When I grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa, nobody asked if you were a Republican or Democrat, they asked for your help and they got it,” Braley said.  “Both of my parents grew up in Iowa during the Great Depression.  They taught me the values I take to Congress: work hard, meet your responsibilities, and stand up for your community.   We need a lot more of these Iowa values in Congress these days.”

The ad will run on eastern Iowa broadcast television starting today and will continue to run with no set end-date.  

I am seeking further details on which eastern Iowa television markets are carrying this commercial. UPDATE: The Braley campaign is running this spot in the Cedar Rapids market only for now. Linn County and several smaller counties that are new to IA-01 are in that broadcast area.

Braley is fortunate that his new district contains his home town of Brooklyn in Poweshiek County. The Cedar Rapids metro area in Linn County is the largest population center in the new IA-01, followed by Waterloo/Cedar Falls and Dubuque. Braley represented the Quad Cities for the past three terms, but Iowa’s new map of political boundaries put Scott County in IA-02, where Democrat Dave Loebsack is seeking re-election.

Excerpt from a National Republican Congressional Committee press release of August 13:


With President Obama spending three days in Iowa this week and four visits in the First District alone – it is no wonder that Bruce Braley is in damage control mode. Braley is launching his first TV ad today – a full month before he did in 2010.

Braley knows he is going to have trouble defending his polices that cut $700 billion from Medicare and put a government bureaucrat between seniors and their doctors. He knows his broken promises on taking special interest contributions are costing him crucial reelection support.

So will Bruce Braley join President Obama in Waterloo tomorrow? After all, in Washington, Braley has voted in lockstep with Obama’s agenda of more spending and more government that has ushered in an era of massive debt and joblessness.

NRCC COMMENT: “President Obama and Bruce Braley are in trouble in Iowa and they know it. Iowa families are tired of the Braley’s agenda that has destroyed jobs, hurt Iowa farmers and left seniors with higher premiums and fewer benefits. Bruce Braley is part of the problem in Washington and Ben Lange represents the solution.” – NRCC Spokeswoman Andrea Bozek

  • it's hard to believe

    that we have two GOP candidates sporting the Eddie Munster look: Lange and Ryan.

    Vintage autos in ads still works. I don’t think Braley has too much to worry about unless Iowans in the first CD get swept up in some sort of deficit scold/next generation/Paul Ryan rapture and confuse Lange’s look for Ryan’s widow’s peak.

    I do think that the “next generation” argument is important, but what is getting lost in the shuffle is that there’s a whole lot to work with that earlier generations are responsible for and the social compact is not unidirectional.

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