Unmasked: Creator of “1984″ anti-Hillary ad is … staffer for Obama consultant

posted at 7:51 pm on March 21, 2007 by Allahpundit

Arianna smoked him out but Ben Smith pinned the tail on the Messiah:

Arianna reports that Philip de Vellis of Blue State Digital created the spot; Blue State works for Obama. A woman who answered the company’s phone confirmed he works there.

But maybe not for long. Also from Smith:

From Obama aide Bill Burton: “The Obama campaign and its employees had no knowledge and had nothing to do with the creation of the ad. We were notified this evening by a vendor of ours, Blue State Digital, that an employee of the company had been involved in the making of this ad. Blue State Digital has separated ties with this individual and we have been assured he did no work on our campaign’s account.”

Bonus fun fact: Blue State Digital was founded by Dean-o’s Internet team, according to Arianna.

I don’t really care about any of this, except that it’ll be fun watching the most conspicuously nice guy in the race explain his association with the nastiest ad of the campaign thus far.

Which, incidentally, I still think was stupid.

Update: De Vellis resigned when he heard Arianna was about to out him.

He said he produced the ad outside of work and that neither Blue State nor the Obama campaign was aware of his role in the ad.

“But it raises some eyebrows, so I thought it best that I resign and not put them in that position.”

Update: Goooood question: “Clearly, enough people knew; Arianna Huffington found out about it. How?”

Update: A nice catch by Sound Politics: it seems De Vellis is a tried and true Wal-Mart hater. Follow the link to see why that might be relevant.

Update: That was fast. The man knows his way around techno-political truisms, I’ll grant him that.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

heh heh heh.

Hillary is gonna make some serious hay with this.

csdeven on March 21, 2007 at 7:56 PM

I guess all those libs and Dems in the MSM like Keith Olbermann will now apologized about blaming evil-Republicans for the ad.

mlong on March 21, 2007 at 7:57 PM

The ad is great and right on the money. The Dims are running around like mice trying to figure out just what to do about it, and their answer is…..nothing. They can not do anything about it because the bell ring true!

NEMETI IN SYRACUSE on March 21, 2007 at 8:02 PM

Should we assume the GOP didn’t do it?

One civil war I’m really going to enjoy.

JammieWearingFool on March 21, 2007 at 8:07 PM

Vast Left Wing Conspiracy

Wade on March 21, 2007 at 8:08 PM

Has Hillary hired him yet?

Zorro on March 21, 2007 at 8:11 PM

Standby for counter-attack from employee at blog site friendly to Hillary, followed by denial that Hillary knew about it, followed by firing of employee.

Somebody’s been reading up on old editions of Mad Magazine.

fogw on March 21, 2007 at 8:18 PM

Those charging Obama’s campaign with responsibility are vindicated. He hired the firm. It’s his people, his money supporting the staff. Question settled. Game over.

He’ll fire the firm before this is over.

Anil Petra on March 21, 2007 at 8:19 PM

Man that ad is just typical leftist moonbat thinking. I swear I really hope they hire more of their ilk.

You just know that is the way 90% of them think.

William Amos on March 21, 2007 at 8:25 PM

Somebody hand that guy a cigar!

And hand Arianna a moist towelette. To wipe the blood of her teeth.

Kini on March 21, 2007 at 8:29 PM

Which, incidentally, I still think was stupid. —- Allahpundit

Which, incidentally, I still think is not stupid. It’s a fair representation of Hillary’s all out Big Brother agenda. Socialized Medicine, TAKE profits from the Oil companies…. sign up for “global warming taxes”… every commie left wing cause endorsed. Not stupid… just Hillary’s dream world portrayed.

That being said, I had rather see Hillary as President than Obama, because Obama is much more poised and a lot smarter than Hillary, and he would be much more effective at getting left wing legislation passed by Congress. Heaven forbid that the Republicans would lose the Presidential race in 2008, but if that is going to happen, we are better off have the ham-fisted and easily perturbed Hillary as POTUS than Obama.

Maxx on March 21, 2007 at 8:33 PM

it’s a crime now to produce a anti-Hillary ad now?

Give the guy a raise! He did a fantastic job!

TheBigOldDog on March 21, 2007 at 8:36 PM

I agree with Maxx Allah. This is who she is.

Kini on March 21, 2007 at 8:40 PM

AP, you think an Ad that’s resonated around the world and spread virally faster than the “I Love You” virus is stupid? Is that right?

TheBigOldDog on March 21, 2007 at 8:42 PM

it’s a crime now to produce a anti-Hillary ad now?

Give the guy a raise! He did a fantastic job!

TheBigOldDog on March 21, 2007 at 8:36 PM

Not a crime, but, if the candidate has been promising to keep the campaign positive and focus on the issues, it’s problematic if someone related to his campaign comes up with the first memorable ‘attack’ ad of the season.

I personally get tired of ads that attack a candidate’s stance on issues being considered ‘personal attack ads’. To me a personal attack is saying “She’s a frigid witch and shouldn’t get elected” or “He’s a power hungry fiend and wants to rule the world”…..Using the candidates own quotes (as long as there isn’t selective editing) to reveal their stance on positions is not an attack. Still, if that’s what the majority of other people consider to be an attack ad, Obama can’t afford to be the first guy to have released one.

JadeNYU on March 21, 2007 at 8:44 PM

Maxx, your right that Hillary would probably be better than Obama as President (would you want to be shot with a .38 or a .357 type of better) but I seriously question that Obama could get elected.

I’m just sad we didn’t do the ad.

Buzzy on March 21, 2007 at 8:44 PM

I don’t understand this… this ad is amazing. Obama should hire the dude.

I mean, I don’t like either of them, and the “You’ll see why 2008 won’t be like 1984″ doesn’t really make any sense. But it did a great job of showcasing Hillary’s almost mechanical political posturing in a short little bite that people could “feel”.

I don’t see how this could possibly be characterized as “nasty”.

DaveS on March 21, 2007 at 8:45 PM

He’ll have no problem getting a job, he’s definitely skilled. And he probably uses a Mac.

digitalintrigue on March 21, 2007 at 8:47 PM

AP, you think an Ad that’s resonated around the world and spread virally faster than the “I Love You” virus is stupid? Is that right?

TheBigOldDog on March 21, 2007 at 8:42 PM

I don’t want to answer for AP, but, I can say that I thought the ad was stupid. I didn’t really see a point to it other than the hamhanded “Hillary is big brother!” point. The way the ad is constructed also had me focusing on the running chick with Hillary fading into the backgroun as opposed to having me focus on what Hillary was saying. I also didn’t think there was a strong call to action. “Don’t be a drone and listen to Hillary.” doesn’t exactly equal “Vote for Obama!”

Now, having said all that, the fact that the ad has resonated so well and generated so much free publicity means (in my opinion) that, while I may find the ad to be dumb, I also find the decision to make the ad to be brilliant.

JadeNYU on March 21, 2007 at 8:49 PM

Not a crime, but, if the candidate has been promising to keep the campaign positive and focus on the issues, it’s problematic if someone related to his campaign comes up with the first memorable ‘attack’ ad of the season.

There’s no indication Obewon sanctioned that Ad and if he did, good for him – proves he’s actually pretty smart. That Ad was devastating which is why is spread so fast and IT COST NOTHING! It’s like the holy grail of political ads. Genius! Bravo. I want that guy working for me.

TheBigOldDog on March 21, 2007 at 8:49 PM

He is the magic negro, he just made Philip de Vellis disappear.

right2bright on March 21, 2007 at 9:05 PM

Reminds me of a line from a song by The Talking Heads: “Same as it ever was…”

Rode Werk on March 21, 2007 at 9:14 PM

Interesting thing is that De vellis worked for the Sherrod Brown Senate Campaign here in Ohio.

But places like youtube are perfect to float campaign ideas and see how they float.

Im willing to bet that someone posting on huff and puff knew all about this. De Vellis proabably bragged to some moonbat about it and they thought it was “So cool”.

That upsets other moonbats because your only suppose to plant crap about republicans not your own insane group.

William Amos on March 21, 2007 at 10:05 PM

Heh…Rode: “This is not my beautiful ad..”

unamused on March 21, 2007 at 10:05 PM

Isn’t it racist for the black guy to fire someone? Or is it racist that La Hillary’s campaign was squealing?

SouthernGent on March 21, 2007 at 10:09 PM

Allah, check out Dan Riehl’s blog when you get a chance. He’s got a post up that talks about some possible sock puppetry de Vellis may have been involved in in prior campaigns.

SisterToldjah on March 21, 2007 at 11:00 PM

What a great group of Democratic candidates we have. Hey folks, for anyone who hasn’t seen the hair primping vid that gave Silky Pony his name, CLICK HERE. For those who have seen it, it’s worth another look – just for grins and chuckles. You know you want to.

thedecider on March 21, 2007 at 11:06 PM

Do I laugh openly, or do I snicker behind my hand?

Obama is dirty.

Hillary is a vicious witch.

The author is a rotten, democrap partisan bastard.

Screw’em all to Hell.

Democrats suck and the world will be better off if the ground opened up and swallowed them.

georgej on March 21, 2007 at 11:14 PM

georgej on March 21, 2007 at 11:14 PM

Havin’ a bad day?

thedecider on March 21, 2007 at 11:16 PM

Don’t understand what the problem is. Someone mashed two ads. Da-dum. The result is better than the orginal Apple ad, cause Apple has this elitist non-conformists conformity arrogance. Putting Hillary the uber elitist in works perfectly. That means, the tediously self-important Apple ad is not as good as the tedious self-important Hillary put-down ad. Hillary staring into the camera like some chilly mother-figure dressing down the errant child by crushing his ego, and calling it a conversation instead of a lecture. “We’re going to have these conversations once a week.” (“To remind you how you’ve failed in life.”) Oh boy! Can’t wait!
So the story is that Hillary and her enablers are pissed? WHy would anyone get fired for this? Unless he was supposed to be using his computer for crunching the numbers for recombinant DNA strands of sea cucumbers.

naliaka on March 21, 2007 at 11:39 PM

Democrats suck and the world will be better off if the ground opened up and swallowed them.

georgej on March 21, 2007 at 11:14 PM

That pretty much sums it up…………

PinkyBigglesworth on March 22, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Don’t understand what the problem is. Someone mashed two ads. Da-dum

The problem is it makes Obama look a little less saintly. The MSM practically has him walking on water right now and anything that makes him seem like just another politician is bad.

William Amos on March 22, 2007 at 12:58 AM

William Amos on March 22, 2007 at 12:58 AM

Never fear. He’s the magic Negro. He’ll survive.

thedecider on March 22, 2007 at 1:04 AM

I don’t think it reflects on Obama at all.

MayBee on March 22, 2007 at 2:45 AM

The problem is it makes Obama look a little less saintly. The MSM practically has him walking on water right now and anything that makes him seem like just another politician is bad.

William Amos on March 22, 2007 at 12:58 AM

William,

I love the imagery of your statement!

Hasn’t Baraka Hussein Obama also healed the sick, raised the dead, caused the blind to see, was tortured, suffered, and died for our sins on the cross, was buried, and on the third day he arose from the dead, walked among us for forty days, then ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, to come and judge the world and to establish His Kingdom?

Hasn’t the Messiah finally come. Baraka Hussein Obama, the annointed one, is finally here. Our sins are forgiven, we are saved!

Praise the Lord!

Hosanna, Baraka Hussein Obama, Savior of Mankind, walks on water, miracle worker, sinless and pure!

Oh Happy Day!!!!!

William

William2006 on March 22, 2007 at 3:57 AM

Maybe it’s my right-wing extra chromosome talking, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to say, “Why 2008 won’t be like 1992?”

That bizarre outdated rainbow Apple “O” for Obama escapes me as well.

You know Obama had nothing to do with the ad’s creation, ’cause it’s actually kinda clever, if only because Hillary is that scary and is a prime example of Newspeak. She’s double plus ungood.

You know what’s really scary? I saw two KUCINICH 2008 buttons/signs on my walk home yesterday. You’re glad you don’t live here.

saint kansas on March 22, 2007 at 4:58 AM

Maybe it’s my right-wing extra chromosome talking, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to say, “Why 2008 won’t be like 1992?”

saint kansas on March 22, 2007 at 4:58 AM

But, 1992 was the election that brought about the rise of the holy Clinton! They would obviously want to do everything in their power to emulate that, especially when this time they are trying to raise up the one true savior.

Anyway, the commercial still sucks, mainly because of the source, but at least this guy put in some effort as opposed to the one you posted the other day.

Wolfman on March 22, 2007 at 6:58 AM

de Vellis best stay away from Fort Marcy Park.

mountainmanbob on March 22, 2007 at 7:59 AM

Rove you magnificent bastard!

locomotivebreath1901 on March 22, 2007 at 8:54 AM

I agree with Maxx Allah.

Kini on March 21, 2007 at 8:40 PM

Before I saw that I’d been duped by a missing comma, I thought, “Maxx Allah! What a great screenname!,” for an infidel, of course.

Kralizec on March 22, 2007 at 9:23 AM

I see more free speech rights going down the tubes once the left (and McCain) gets a hold of this one. It will be for our own good though i’m sure.

tomas on March 22, 2007 at 9:35 AM

I agree with Allah: The ad was stupid.

I tend to think of Orwell as the idiot’s intellectual. That’s because the only people who take Orwellian analogies seriously are teenagers who haven’t read any other book.

I was once in a college class and one of the girls said that living in GWB’s America was like living in Bradbury’s “Farenheit 451.” The girl was obviously as bright as a cave.

So, it’s best to layoff the Hillary is Big Brother analogies. They only expose the people who make the analogies as paranoid fools.

bert169 on March 22, 2007 at 9:56 AM

geek

As a video, um, “hobbyist,” I guess, 99 percent of my admiration for the ad is that the guy took the time to (1) matte out the Hillary video so the drones’ heads appeared in front of the screen, and (2) composite his dumb Obama logo over the chick’s Macintosh T-shirt. Exactly like the guy who did the “rebuttal” video didn’t.

That is all.

/geek

saint kansas on March 22, 2007 at 11:03 AM

OK, I was also going to say I wonder what Ridley Scott thinks of what they’ve done to his commercial… but then I reconsidered. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to hear anything about politics come out of his mouth.

saint kansas on March 22, 2007 at 11:09 AM

That’s because the only people who take Orwellian analogies seriously are teenagers who haven’t read any other book.

bert169 on March 22, 2007 at 9:56 AM

Exactly. Orwellian concepts are very important to developing minds. The problem is that they are so apropo that many people think those ideas are the end all of enlightened thought. What I find ironic is that the lefties loved to use 451 as an indictment of conservatives but it is obvious that they have become the greatest opponents to any thinking that is diametric to theirs.

I do not think it was stupid, because Hillary’s “Lets talk” slogan has nothing to do with the free exchange of ideas. The people whom react positively to her suggestion that we should talk don’t realize that she never will “talk”. They’re in love with the idea of it. This is designed for the brain dead female types. The types she will have to have in order to get elected. All fluff and emotion and no substance.

The same people by the way, that watch “The View”. Hillary wants these people to sit in front of their TV as brainwashed fools soaking up every bit of her tripe.

This guy would have made a much more powerful statement if everyone in the audience were females.

csdeven on March 22, 2007 at 11:11 AM

So, it’s best to layoff the Hillary is Big Brother analogies. They only expose the people who make the analogies as paranoid fools.

As opposed to pseudo-intellectuals who don’t have the common sense to realize than an ad produced for peanuts got millions and millions of dollars of totally free play.

TheBigOldDog on March 22, 2007 at 12:05 PM

As opposed to pseudo-intellectuals who don’t have the common sense to realize than an ad produced for peanuts got millions and millions of dollars of totally free play.

BigOldDog,

You’re confusing airplay with effectiveness.

Remember MoveOn.org’s ad comparing Bush to Hitler during the 2004 election? It received quite a bit of airplay from FOX, Talk Radio, and even from CNN. Hell, it even drew the attention of the ADL. And that ad was also produce for pennies by a moron kid on his laptop (If I remember correctly MoveOn.org was having a contest for the best homemade political ad, and it was one of the finalists and was featured on their website).

Now I don’t know what the oracle of “common sense” says. But I think it is reasonable to believe that ads comparing Bush to Hitler and Hillary to the villian of a silly novel about totalitarianism are not effective and are even cut from the same cloth–paranoid rantings of politicos.

bert169 on March 22, 2007 at 12:48 PM

You’re confusing airplay with effectiveness

You are confusing Push with Pull. The play this got was mainly PULL. Why? because it resonated with people. Why? because it fit with their view of her.

TheBigOldDog on March 22, 2007 at 12:54 PM

You are confusing Push with Pull. The play this got was mainly PULL. Why? because it resonated with people. Why? because it fit with their view of her.

You’re right. I am confusing the two. But I still stand by my belief that the ads are not effective. People who have such a strong feeling of resentment toward Hillary tend to be the hyperpartisans, who are going to vote anyway and there is no need to remind them of why they hate Hillary.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against negative ads. I’m actually very supportive of them because they depress the vote of the candidate your targeting. I just think that playing the Hitler card or the totalitarian card will in the end insult Americans. Just like the MoveOn.org ad insulted the ADL, which I don’t think they intended to do. I think there are plenty of subjects for negative ads against Hillary in order to depress a Hillary vote, but “1984″ is just silly.

bert169 on March 22, 2007 at 1:25 PM

Don’t take this the wrong way. This is being said in the spirit of honest discussion.

You always want to be aware and cautious of what’s know as “belly button” marketing (BBM). That is, assuming people think and feel the way you do about something like a product or service. It can lead you very far astray when you don’t perfectly represent the target market (audience). In this case, by definition almost, you were not the target market of that ad. That doesn’t mean the ad wasn’t very good or effective. It just means you weren’t part of the target audience and you are using its impact on you to determine its value, rather than objective measures like hits, air time, articles, poll results, etc.

There are times when BBM can be a good thing. If you really understand the customer and essentially ARE the customer, it can work for you.

TheBigOldDog on March 22, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Let’s have a conversation.
It will be one-way.
Madame Hillary will speak.
You will obey.

ReubenJCogburn on March 22, 2007 at 2:38 PM

TheBigOldDog,

Don’t worry. I’m not taking this the wrong way. I actually have enjoyed your posts. They are well written and well thought out. But I still don’t share your enthusiasm for this ad.

Let me explain. First I must be clear to assure you that when I say “I think so and so about the ad’s effectiveness on voters,” I am trying to put myself inside certain voter’s heads and making decisions based on what I think that they think. I may be wrong, but my method avoids the logical fallacy you assumed I was committing (applying my reaction to different subsets of voters). Now to be fair, I went back and read my posts about that and I feel I may have given you the wrong impression. I apologize for that.

Having said that, I think that assertion that this ad may appeal to some form of niche target market is dubious for two reasons: 1) It is difficult to tell what market it is appealing to. Since it is a negative ad we can assume that it is trying to depress the vote for Hillary, but finding a target audience within that larger audience is difficult to come by by using YouTube as the vehicle for the add. (Compare to Hebrew National Hot Dogs advertising in Jewish newspapers or communities; it seems more obvious in that case),and 2) if there is a target market that is moved by Orwell, why haven’t we seen them before? Comparing politicians to big brother has been done since that book was published. Yet the most effective ads, and this is not my opinion but the opinion of political and communications strategists of both parties, are ones with children, animals, and the candidates family. Now if you can get a negative ad with children or animals in it, it is advertising gold.

Now to be fair, there might be some internal polling that I’m not privy too that would lead a campaign to pushing this type of advertisement. However it’s also a possibility that this dude really did make it on his own without any input from the campaign strategists. And based on my limited knowledge of campaign advertising (I’m not an expert at all, merely thumbed through academic literature on the subject) and my prejudice about Orwell inspired political thought, I tend to think that this guy is a person who is good on the computer but is unfamiliar with other aspects of campaigning or even political philosophy. Hence the first political book every teenager reads is used as a campaign tool.

bert169 on March 22, 2007 at 3:23 PM

I think the target audience would be people who identify with the brain washed people in the audience. They wonder why this ad criticizes those who believe she really wants to talk. Those are the people who obama needs to sway to his side.

In 1984, Apple users thought the original ad was clever. IBM based users were supposed to feel like they were like rats at the feeder bar.

Because Hillary is preaching to the brain dead female, I think the ad would have been more powerful if all the audience members were females.

csdeven on March 22, 2007 at 3:40 PM

You are over thinking it bert. All you have to do is look at the objective measures. It’s popularity speaks for itself.

TheBigOldDog on March 22, 2007 at 4:15 PM

I think this ad was retarded. With that said, unless he signed something with the company on not doing outside work in politics and putting it on the net, I think he was fired or forced to resign (whatever story is true) is stupid.

In the grand scheme of things, this really wasn’t a big deal. I thought the person who did this didn’t come forward for awhile because the ad was just dumb and wouldn’t want to admit it on those grounds lol.

Highrise on March 22, 2007 at 4:20 PM

TheBigOldDog,

Honestly, I don’t think it’s the ad itself that’s getting the attention, but the politiking of a campaign that started a full year before the first primary. People are interested in the manuevering of the campaigns.

So far, all the maneuvering is predictable: a nutroot loon claims that its an example of “people powered politics” when he makes an ad he deems will hurt the opponent of the candidate he supports, and as a result the cadidate he supports distances himself from the ad and he (the kid who made the ad) loses his job with Blue State whatever company.

Plus, we’ve sat there and watch the press build up Obama, and I think we are waiting in anticipation that the press will turn on him and tear him down.

Allah sums it up nicely:

I don’t really care about any of this, except that it’ll be fun watching the most conspicuously nice guy in the race explain his association with the nastiest ad of the campaign thus far.

And I reiterate: The ad is very nasty. It of the same mold as Bush=Hitler.

bert169 on March 22, 2007 at 5:05 PM

Hillary Clinton was on Wal-Mart’s board?

How did I miss that? And, how does that make any sense?

Now that this guy is no longer tied to Obama, I’d love to see him do a Hillary ad with a Wal-Mart commercial motif.

mesablue on March 22, 2007 at 5:20 PM

I’m trying to think of what other old TV ads you could cut-and-paste to bash Hillary:

I can’t believe I [badly overdubbed "TAXED!"] the whole thing!

Jim Treacher on March 22, 2007 at 6:38 PM

You frighten me, Jim. But in a good way.

major john on March 22, 2007 at 10:45 PM

Mom?

Jim Treacher on March 23, 2007 at 9:13 AM

I think the biggest problem the campaign managers and others are having is the fact that this ad was produced by one guy working at home at little cost. Hillary and the other candidates are looking at this and saying: I’m paying millions of dollars for MY attack ads and this bozo produces a great ad at little cost and in a short time and it’s more popular than a Britney Spears crotch shot? That’s not fair!

Look at it this way; this guy proves that millions of dollars no longer need to be spent in producing campaign ads. Just hire a couple of teenagers with a digital camera, an Internet connection, and a Mac. It’s more effective and a lot cheaper.

RedinBlueCounty on March 23, 2007 at 7:37 PM