VA Governor Race & Authenticity

This is a quick post, not a full review.

Two ads:

I admit it, I haven’t been following the Virginia governor’s race very closely, even though it’s in my backyard. It seemed like a slam dunk for Terry MccAuliffe, and if I’m not working on a race, I just don’t have the time to give.

I’m sure there are a lot of “issues” (why is that in quotes? Well, issues tend to be rationales for voting for a particular candidate, not a reason in and of themselves in my opinion) that the election turned on. I haven’t looked at the polling or read any analysis so I’m going out on a limb here, but I can’t help but feel this race turned on authenticity.

Ads tell stories (or they should). Those stories have to be truthful and honest, both in content but also to the personality of the candidate — that’s one of the critical criteria that viewers judge them on. When I saw that MccAuliffe ad, well, he just feels phony to me. I’ve never met the guy, he might be a great guy and maybe he would have made a great governor, but as my Soviet film school teacher Boris said to me (with a thick Russian accent), “Adam, your work is on the screen.” That means you won’t be there to explain to the audience that you were running late so you couldn’t get that perfect end shot or you only had 3 hours to make the spot. Your work is on the screen, it has to speak for itself. And, watching that ad, he feels phony, slick, fake.

Compare that with Deeds’ ad; he feels real, authentic, honest. I like him better, frankly, and I know nothing about him except that I connect to him more. Just watching those two ads, I would vote for Deeds in a second.

Is that a fair analysis? I’d be interested to hear what you think out there on the interwebs, especially if you voted in Virginia.

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