Strategic Perception, Inc.

Christine O'Donnell's New TV Ad: "I'm Not a Witch, I'm You"

Matt Lewis & the news
October 05, 2010

Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell is out with a terrific new ad.

Hoping to convince voters that she is a serious candidate, the ad features O'Donnell, wearing a black blazer and a pearl necklace, simply talking to the camera with soft music in the background.

Absent are images of flags or farmers or hard-working Americans -- or any of the techniques often employed in campaign ads. Instead, obliquely addressing the revelations, gaffes and scandals that have plagued her campaign thus far (including the fact that she "dabbled into witchcraft"), O'Donnell says things like, "I'm not a witch. I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you."

She goes on to say that "none of us are perfect."

If you ask me, the ad is spot on. It accomplishes exactly what O'Donnell needs to do -- it helps put the gaffes behind her, and reassures voters that she passes the credibility test. Some strategists, no doubt, would have advised her to ignore her problems, or simply go on the attack. That would have been a mistake.

It's hard to think someone is "crazy" or "fringey" when they've looked you in the eye and told you their story. And the campaign is clearly seeking to play up what is perhaps their most valuable commodity -- O'Donnell's charisma and likability.

It's worth noting that the words "I'm you" are repeated at the end of the ad.

The goal, of course, is to make the point that all of us have problems. We've all missed a house payment, or two (after all, times are hard). But the politicians in Washington are the real problem.

This strikes me as a home run.

Watch the ad here: