# Gibbons Web Ad

Searching for the point of Gibbons' first web ad

Jim Gibbons, the Republican insiders’ favorite in the third district Congressional race, released a 45-second web ad today:

I assume this commercial or something similar will air on television before the June 8 Republican primary. I didn’t think you could get any more generic than the television ad State Senator Brad Zaun briefly ran in January, but Gibbons may have proved me wrong. Here’s my rough transcript:

Woman: Iowa needs help.

Man: Iowa needs a champion.

Second woman: Iowa needs Jim Gibbons in Washington, DC.

Gibbons: Hi, I’m Jim Gibbons. A lot of you know me from the sport of wrestling, know my background as a champion wrestler and coach at Iowa State University. Everything I’ve been about in my professional life is about creating a culture of success: setting goals, deciding what you’re going to sacrifice to achieve those goals, associating with people who can get you down the path, who have been down the path before. Make a plan and stick to that plan. That’s what it takes, and that’s what I’m going to take to Washington.

Log on to our Facebook page. Put up a yard sign. Volunteer. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Let’s make this campaign work, and let’s make Washington work again for Iowa.

I’m Jim Gibbons, and I’m running for Congress and I need your support.

Most of the ad shows Gibbons talking to the camera in Des Moines’ new Pappajohn sculpture garden, with recognizable downtown buildings in the background. At the end the Gibbons for Congress logo and web address (www.gibbonsforcongress.com) fill the screen.

I realize I’m not the target audience for this web ad, but the message seems odd. At least Zaun’s commercial, which aired briefly in January, included some Republican buzzwords: “trillion-dollar deficits and corporate bailouts,” “the Constitution still means something,” “common sense conservative values,” “It is time to take our country back.”

Gibbons talks about success and associating with the right people, but he gives no hint of what his goals are or what’s in the plan he’s making and sticking to. I don’t get who is supposed to be inspired by this ad to log on to his Facebook page, put up a yard sign, and so on.

Gibbons leads with a comment about people knowing him from his wrestling champion days. If you believe an internal poll conducted by the Zaun campaign in January, about two-thirds of Republicans in the third district had never heard of Gibbons. I’m not convinced this ad is the best way introduce the candidate.

Final note: that Des Moines backdrop is a subtle way of addressing questions about whether Gibbons really lives in the third district. As Jennifer Jacobs reported yesterday for the Des Moines Register, Gibbons leases an apartment in Des Moines while his wife and children live in Dallas County.

“I wanted to run against the first liberal I could find, so to speak, so I changed my residency to Des Moines,” he said.

The Gibbonses’ rural Perry home is in the 4th District, represented by Republican Tom Latham. […]

Gibbons and his wife, Anne, have three daughters – ages 16, 13 and 7 months. The older girls didn’t want to leave their school and home, he said.

“I decided to go ahead and run, and I didn’t necessarily want to move my family in the middle of the school year,” Gibbons said. […]

Gibbons said he has been a central Iowan for all but about seven years of his life. He said he goes to church at the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines. He previously worked in West Des Moines, and before that lived in Urbandale.

But Gibbons declined to answer questions about how much time he spends at his Des Moines apartment. “I’m spending a lot of time here on the campaign trail, so I’m spending some time in Des Moines and some time in Perry,” he said.

To me, it doesn’t matter whether Gibbons lives in Polk County or a 20-minute drive away. Plenty of politicians have moved to a different county to run for Congress. However, Gibbons’ detractors will certainly try to make his residency an issue before the primary election.

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