The Bernie Sanders campaign has released three new ads in two days, which taken together constitute the progressive presidential candidate’s closing argument to primary voters, less than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
The three new ads, which will air on stations in Iowa and New Hampshire, are part of a major new push on television from the campaign. In New Hampshire, for example, the Sanders campaign will spend a tiny bit more from November through January than Hillary Clinton’s campaign will spend in total since August.
One ad is focused on oil pipelines and the environment. A second deals with “judgment” and “experience,” and the senator’s vote against the Iraq War. The third is hardly about Sanders at all, but instead, set to the moving Simon and Garfunkel song “America.” The ad crescendos with growing crowds of people who have come out to see Sanders and donate to his campaign.
“They have come to see America,” the ad’s narrator says.
The implicit argument in the first ad about climate change is that Sanders has been consistent in his values and platforms.
“Bernie Sanders didn't hesitate to say no to the big oil companies. ... Bernie Sanders has the guts to just stand up for what he believes in,” the ad says. Sanders was one of the first in Washington to oppose the Keystone Pipeline and the senator also came out against the proposed Bakken pipeline in the Midwest. Hillary Clinton was slow to join progressives and oppose Keystone."
“There are proposed pipelines which would run through New Hampshire and Iowa. I oppose those pipelines. Unlike Secretary Clinton, it did not take me a long, long time to know that the Keystone Pipeline was a bad, bad idea. I was against that from day one,” he told a crowd in Peterborough, New Hampshire, today.
The Clinton campaign has stood by its climate plan in recent days and promised a fuller version soon.
The second ad about foreign policy pits Sanders’ vote against the Iraq War against Clinton’s vote for it.
“I voted against the war in Iraq, and that was the right vote,” Sanders says in the spot. “We must never forget the lessons of that experience."
Though Clinton has since said her vote was a mistake, the ad puts Sanders in a category with President Obama, who also attacked Clinton on her Iraq War vote when he ran against her in 2008. It also serves as a rebuttal to one of her go-to arguments that the Vermont senator does not have the experience needed to be commander-in-chief.
The third, and perhaps the most powerful of the bunch, has an entirely different tone. It is not (at least as obviously) about drawing contrast or comparisons with his primary opponent, but instead goes for a hopeful and uplifting note. The 1960s folk soundtrack of Simon & Garfunkel's "America" playing over images of excited, youthful crowds, projects a confident and positive campaign. In turn, the unspoken idea portrayed in the ad is that his campaign, perhaps more so than Clinton’s, has the energy and enthusiasm needed to turn out the vote in a general election.