Politics

10.15.12

The Best Ad Obama Could Run

A friend passed along this little, one-minute clip of FDR speaking in 1936. Here is the clip on YouTube, which you must take a minute to watch.

Here is what Roosevelt says in the clip, which turns out to be from a speech he gave in Syracuse in late September 1936:

Let me warn you and let me warn the nation against the smooth evasion that says "Of course we believe these things. We believe in Social Security. We believe in work for the unemployed. We believe in saving homes. Cross our hears and hope to die! We believe in all these things.

"But we do not like the way the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them. We will do more of them. We will do them better. And most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything!"

You have to see it to get his lightly mocking intonation. His syllabic emphasis in the part where he's speaking in the voice of a Republican critic even sounds a lot like the way Paul Ryan sounds when he pulls out his safety-net violin.

I think this clip, or portions of it, maybe interspersed with Romney and Ryan from their debates professing their tender concerns for the 100 percent, would make a fantastic ad. My pal Harvey Kaye of UW-Green Bay is right: Re-re-reelect FDR, as he's been writing. Kaye's focus has been the famous Four Freedoms speech, but this one could serve just as well--maybe even better for present purposes.

Another interesting weekend note: A poll came out showing Obama ahead in Arizona. No, I don't think Obama is going to win Arizona. But the interesting thing about this poll is that it conducted interviews in Spanish as well as English, which probably helped produce the pro-Obama result.

That raises the question of whether other polls (which typically don't ask questions in Spanish) are underestimating Obama's Latino advantage. Nate Silver digs deeply into this here. If it's true that there's an undersampling of the Hispanic vote, that would help Obama, Silver says, in Colorado and Florida.

And even though I don't think Obama can win Arizona, I think the campaign ought to take the fact of this poll and hold one big rally in Phoenix--ideally, with Bill Clinton at his side. If nothing else it would create a narrative of playing offense and maybe force Romney out of Ohio for a day. Play offense.