We're entering that time when campaigns make that final push to the finish line. One week left, what message do you want to leave with voters before they head into the voting booth (do folks still vote in booths). Something positive about you? A vision for the future? The cost of electing the other guy? In races where the margins are too large to make up, do you try to push your name id for the next campaign? These are tough choices to make, as the field of possibilities narrows to one last message, one last opportunity to make your case. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SymmAC3-4zs&feature=player_embedded]
Meg Whitman goes with the honesty approach, a one minute plea, that is part humble admission that folks might not like here, part bio, part political platitude, part vision statement. I have to say I find this ad compelling, in the same way (even as a Democrat) I've found Whitman compelling. There's an iconic part of her story, the family moving west, making her fortune at ebay, that speaks to me, and makes me like her. I like the admission at the open that voters see this election as an unhappy choice, I appreciate her naming that elephant in the room, and trying to turn it around. While I find the middle section not as compelling (I'm not a politician), overall I like this ad, it is a simple expression of her and her candidacy.
Compare that with Harry Reid's last message to voters, which I find kind of all over the place. This ad feels like it's trying to do too much. Where the Whitman ad is all about an emotional appeal, this ad feels like its trying to get voters to vote in their own self interest, which frankly rarely works. In some ways it's a fitting end to the Reid campaign which has always been about brute force and attrition tactics. There's nothing subtle about this ad, but I don't know if there's anything exceptional about it either. At the end of the day, it leaves me cold, neither likely Angle any less nor liking Reid any more.