Mother, family are themes of Hillary Clinton's first tv ads in Iowa

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign started running two 60-second television commercials today in Iowa and New Hampshire. An August 2 press release noted,

These ads are part of an initial five-week, approximately $1 million ad buy in each state plus additional digital advertising. In New Hampshire, the ads will run statewide – in the Boston/Manchester market and in the Burlington market. In Iowa, the ads will air in the state’s two largest media markets – Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. As of today, Republican candidates and their SuperPACS have spent or reserved $34 million in air time in the four early primary states.

I enclose below the videos for “Dorothy” and “Family Strong,” with my annotated transcripts.

The commercials are strong, but I have to say: if you can afford to spend $2 million on tv ads in August (and Clinton can, having raised $47,549,799.64 for her campaign between April 1 and June 30), then you should have paid your full-time summer interns–sorry, “fellows.”

First Hillary Clinton for president ad: “Dorothy.”

My transcript:

Hillary Clinton is on camera, appears to be speaking to off-camera interviewer: When I think about why I’m doing this I think about my mother Dorothy.

Hillary Clinton’s voice: She was abandoned by her parents at the age of eight, sent from Chicago to LA to live with grandparents who didn’t want her. [viewer sees black and white photo of Dorothy Rodham as young girl; then Hillary Clinton is speaking on camera again]

But people showed her kindness, gave her a chance. [viewer sees photo of Dorothy as a young woman]

Clinton speaking on camera: Like the teacher who saw my mother had no money for food and started bringing her extra from home whispering, ‘You know Dorothy, I just brought too much food today.’

Clinton’s voice: She went to work in somebody else’s home at age 14 and it opened her eyes. [photo of Dorothy as a smiling young woman]

Clinton speaking on camera again: For the first time she saw parents who loved and cared for their children.

Clinton’s voice: And that’s the kind of loving family she provided for us. [viewer sees photo of Clinton as a young girl with her brother and parents]

Clinton speaking on camera: When she needed a champion someone was there.

Clinton’s voice: I think about all the Dorothy’s all over America who fight for their families, who never give up. That’s why I’m doing this. [viewer sees footage of other women caring for their children; then Clinton speaks on camera]

Clinton’s voice: That’s why I’ve always done this. [footage of Clinton greeting and shaking hands with children]

Clinton on camera again: For all the Dorothy’s.

Clinton’s voice: I’m Hillary Clinton and I approve this message. [viewer sees photo of Clinton, smiling, looking at her mother, who is also smiling]

Second Hillary Clinton for president ad: “Family Strong.”

My transcript:

Hillary Clinton’s voice: Her parents abandoned her when she was just eight years old. She was mistreated. [viewer sees black and white photo of Dorothy Rodham as young girl]

But she never gave up, and she taught me to do the same. [viewer sees photo of a smiling Dorothy as a young woman, then photo with Dorothy with young daughter Hillary]

Clinton speaks to the camera: My mom’s life and what she went through are big reasons why standing up for kids and families became such a big part of my life. [words HILLARY CLINTON appear near bottom of screen]

Male voice-over: After law school she could have gone to a big firm [viewer sees fantastic color photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton from the early 1970s]

but instead went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund. [black and shite photo of Hillary Clinton speaking into microphone, words CHILDREN’S DEFENSE FUND on screen]

In Arkansas, she fought for school reform to change lives forever. [viewer sees color footage of Hillary Clinton as first lady of Arkansas, speaking in a room with a children; words on screen FOUGHT FOR SCHOOL REFORM]

Then as first lady she helped get health care for eight million kids. [black and white photos of Hillary Clinton from 1990s; sitting at table with policy-makers, then surrounded by children and giving one of them a high five; words on screen HELPED GET HEALTHCARE FOR 8 MILLION KIDS]

You probably know the rest. [viewer sees recent footage of Clinton writing at desk]

The senator who made sure the heroes and families of 9/11 got the care they needed. [footage of Clinton as U.S. senator from New York, wearing mask over nose and mouth as she tours the Ground Zero site with Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others; photo of Clinton listening to group of first responders; words on screen HELP FOR 9/11 HEROES]

The Secretary of State who joined the cabinet of the man who defeated her, [photo of Clinton walking down steps from airplane; SECRETARY OF STATE on screen; then photo of the back of President Barack Obama’s armchair (the back of Obama’s head is visible)]

because when your President calls you serve. [photo of Clinton standing behind Obama at a public event; then photo of Clinton at some official event, surrounded by military officials]

And now a new title: grandma. [color photo of Bill and Hillary Clinton, smiling as they look down at baby Charlotte, wrapped in a blanket in Hillary’s arms]

Hillary Clinton speaks to the camera: I believe that when families are strong America is strong.

Clinton’s voice: It’s your time. I’m Hillary Clinton and I approve this message. [photo of Clinton with a few others, I think at an Iowa event from April; and the campaign logo are visible near the bottom of the screen]


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