IA-04: Jim Mowrer on tv in a good way, unlike Steve King

Six-term Representative Steve King made news this week in typically cringe-worthy ways: talking about impeaching the president, getting caught on video mixing it up with a “DREAMer” who approached him.

Meanwhile, King’s Democratic challenger Jim Mowrer launched his first television commercial on August 1. I’ve posted the video and transcript of this 30-second biographical spot after the jump. According to the Mowrer campaign, the ad will run on broadcast television in Des Moines and Sioux City, and on cable in Des Moines, Sioux City, Mason City, and Omaha.

Rarely does a Congressional challenger introduce himself on television before an entrenched incumbent goes up on the air. But then, it’s rare for a first-time candidate like Mowrer to build up a good cash on hand advantage going into the general election.

Any comments about this race are welcome in this thread. As of August 1, the 39 counties in IA-04 contained 123,290 active registered Democrats, 179,745 Republicans, and 171,235 no-party voters.

P.S.- In a rant about “phony Sunday talk shows,” the Washington Post’s in-house conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin chastised news hosts who solicit King as a guest: “The real journalistic sin here is that no one has the nerve to explain that [King] is an outcast and reviled in his own caucus.” U.S. Senator and likely presidential candidate Rand Paul didn’t want to be near King during his conversation with the DREAMers. Later, Paul said he had to step away for a media availability. His body language suggested an urgent need to get away.

Mowrer for Iowa’s first television commercial, “On an Iowa Farm”:

My transcript:

Mowrer’s voice: Growing up on an Iowa farm teaches you how to serve. [footage of Mowrer walking through a pasture]

So after 9/11, when America needed it, I served in Iraq. [more footage of Mowrer in a farm field, then photo of Mowrer in military gear during his wartime service. A disclaimer appears on screen saying, “Use of military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of Defense”]

And when I came back, it was with a new mission: Rebuild America. [footage of concrete being poured at construction site where two men in hard-hats are working]

I started at the Pentagon. I cut red tape, I cut wasteful spending, and saved us three and a half billion dollars. [footage of Mowrer with unidentified man, words on screen “CUT RED TAPE,” then “CUT WASTEFUL SPENDING,” then “SAVED 3.5 BILLION TAX DOLLARS”]

Now I’m ready to take that mission to Congress and make it work for all of us again. [viewer sees close-up of Jim Mowrer for Congress sign, then one of the construction workers holding that sign]

I’m Jim Mowrer, and I approved this message. [viewer sees Mowrer with his wife and two young children, sitting on the grass. The kids are waving little flags.]

I like everything about this ad: the candidate speaking in his own voice, the visuals, and the theme of various ways he has served his country. Plus, Mowrer’s on television before the overwhelming clutter of political ads sure to hit Iowa in September and October.

Normally it bothers me when Democrats validate conservative frames (such as wasteful government spending), but IA-04 is a conservative district. Republicans will try to caricature Mowrer as a big-spending liberal, so it’s smart to define himself first as a veteran who helped cut Pentagon waste. Too many politicians take a knee-jerk position against any cuts in military spending.

  • Too vague to make me feel very interested in him

    Sorry, but people who are attracted to candidates that use these types of frames will naturally prefer Steve King. You can’t even tell where he stands on any issue by looking at his web site.  Not being Steve King is not a good enough motivator for me.  Steve King existence, actually helps us in districts likely to vote strong democrats, and liberals, so I’ll take a pass.

  • I'll vote for Hatch, and Brailey

    but this guy is just mystery meat.  I am iffy on Appel.

  • Rubin


    Rubin did indeed do a shocker about King. The entertainment value in the reader responses would be priceless if that could ever be presented as an article over there on TIR.  

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