Video: The worst political ad of 2012?

posted at 6:30 pm on February 5, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Usually when you see a title like this, you expect to see something coming from the Democrats. But lending credence to the theory that “Dumb Happens” in all segments of society, we find this advertisement which is allegedly slated to run this evening during the Super Bowl. It’s brought to us by Pete Hoekstra, running against Sen. Debbie Stabenow. It seeks to drive home the message of reckless Washington spending and the dangers of borrowing too much money from foreign governments. Unfortunately, as you will see, the method employed misses the mark of solid common sense in campaign advertising by a fair bit.

The campaign of the Michigan Republican hit racial notes as a new advertisement argued that the policies of incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) were helping China to the detriment of the United States.

The advertisement, which will run in Michigan during the Super Bowl and afterward, features an Asian female with a conical straw hat riding a bike through a rice paddy field.

“Your economy get very weak. Ours get very good [sic],” the actress says, in broken English.

“Thank you Michigan Senator Debbie ‘Spend-it-now’. Debbie spend so much American money [sic],” the actress says, without a Chinese accent. “You borrow more and more, from us… we take your jobs. Thank you Debbie ‘Spend-it-now.’”

The team is describing it as satire, but there’s absolutely no way this doesn’t just fan the flames and come off as racist. Particularly since the actress in question apparently doesn’t even have an accent. Watch for yourself. This seems destined to jump into the history books alongside, “I’m not a witch.”

EDIT: That front page graphic didn’t work very well. Let’s try it again.


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

Comment pages: 1 2 3

It’s a great ad and absolutely certain to have people shouting ‘raaaaaaaaaacist!’.

Because it portrays blacks as being savvy investors. She is black right?

CorporatePiggy on February 6, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Like they weren’t going to call him racist anyway.

My company has an office in Asia. This gal speaks English better than my coworkers.

If there had been a conical straw hat, that would have been a problem since those are not worn in China. A Chinese person once corrected me on that saying they were only worn in Vietnam.

Odysseus on February 6, 2012 at 7:40 AM

Yup, for those of us in Michigan it will hit the right notes with some of the folks who lean toward Stabenow, especially on the East side of the state. China is a touchy issue with the auto workers and their suppliers.

moo on February 6, 2012 at 7:49 AM

This ad may not be racist in a strict sense, but it is clearly designed to elicit xenophobic resentment toward China.

Rakshasa on February 6, 2012 at 7:56 AM

China is a touchy issue with the auto workers and their suppliers.

moo on February 6, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Not to mention their unions.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2012 at 7:56 AM

This ad may not be racist in a strict sense, but it is clearly designed to elicit xenophobic resentment toward China.

Rakshasa on February 6, 2012 at 7:56 AM

And in 2012 in a rust belt state with high unemployment, that is going to resonate. Keep in mind that Michigan has been on the leading edge of the economic downturn and cities like Detroit are all but urban wastelands. Whether it is the smartest thing to harness in a political ad, xenophobic resentment is an emotion that Michiganders are already harboring.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2012 at 8:00 AM

What’s racist about this?

clippermiami on February 6, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Is it lonely up there on the cross for some of you?

gator70 on February 6, 2012 at 8:02 AM

And in 2012 in a rust belt state with high unemployment, that is going to resonate. Keep in mind that Michigan has been on the leading edge of the economic downturn and cities like Detroit are all but urban wastelands. Whether it is the smartest thing to harness in a political ad, xenophobic resentment is an emotion that Michiganders are already harboring.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2012 at 8:00 AM

It’s still highly unlikely that Michiganers will realize that they have been complicit in the destruction of their state. It’s a pretty safe bet they will blame anyone other than the leftist tools they empowered.

CorporatePiggy on February 6, 2012 at 8:04 AM

Sorry Jazz: I’d agree with you if I saw the conical straw hat, but I only saw the strawman.

NotEasilyFooled on February 6, 2012 at 8:04 AM

What’s wrong with that ad? It has a pretty Asian girl. That’s all it needs to get my approval.

The Rogue Tomato on February 6, 2012 at 8:29 AM

The team is describing it as satire, but there’s absolutely no way this doesn’t just fan the flames and come off as racist.

So it’s reached the point that if you use any “ethnic” person in an ad, it’s racist?

right2bright on February 6, 2012 at 8:30 AM

I found it kind of amusing, actually.

John_G on February 6, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Asian women are OK in my book.

antisense on February 6, 2012 at 8:42 AM

It’s kind of dumb. It aims towards the stupid by drawing a simplistic picture of where we’re at, why were here, and who really holds most of our debt. But how is it racist again?

But I’m sure there will be 20% or so out there who will now vote for the Marxist piece of garbage, because someone else made fun of an accent. It’s how America (and Americans) roll in the 21st century.

MNHawk on February 6, 2012 at 8:44 AM

This ad may not be racist in a strict sense, but it is clearly designed to elicit xenophobic resentment toward China.

Aren’t you sweet! :D

AsianGirlInTights on February 6, 2012 at 8:44 AM

And she looks more south sea to me, and not Chinese.

MNHawk on February 6, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Aren’t you sweet! :D

AsianGirlInTights on February 6, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Whoops! That was @antisense!

AsianGirlInTights on February 6, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Aren’t you sweet! :D

AsianGirlInTights on February 6, 2012 at 8:44 AM

I clicked on your name hoping to see an Asian girl in tights…and I wasn’t disappointed!

As for the ad, I think calling it racist is a big stretch.

Dack Thrombosis on February 6, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Whoops! That was @antisense!

AsianGirlInTights on February 6, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Thanks! I took Japanese for a reason. Unfortunately, they have stopped reproducing.

antisense on February 6, 2012 at 9:08 AM

It’s still highly unlikely that Michiganers will realize that they have been complicit in the destruction of their state. It’s a pretty safe bet they will blame anyone other than the leftist tools they empowered.

There are a lot of us Michiganders who realize the complicity of many of our citizens and leaders. I’d dare say that Michigan best represents the two extremes of political philosophy, more so than any state in the country. West Michigan is as conservative as anywhere in the country. It’s just that we’re greatly outnumbered now. Detroit was once know as the arsenal of democracy thanks to the manufacturing industry. We were the mecca for good high paying jobs following WW2. But the liberal locusts trained us in their sights and the rest is history.

moo on February 6, 2012 at 9:11 AM

But the liberal locusts trained us in their sights and the rest is history.

By the way, let’s see where Texas stands in 30 years or so.

moo on February 6, 2012 at 9:15 AM

I guess then the truth is racist, if you want to go that route. I say the truth hurts.

wsucoug on February 6, 2012 at 9:28 AM

The worst political ad of 2012 ? Maybe I am the only one who feels this way, but it resonated with me and I don’t see it as racist. If all the Chinese people were red headed Caucasians, the script still makes a good point.

Hoof Hearted on February 6, 2012 at 9:39 AM

It’s kind of dumb. It aims towards the stupid by drawing a simplistic picture of where we’re at, why were here, and who really holds most of our debt.

[MNHawk on February 6, 2012 at 8:44 AM]

I agree with the latter part of this. Hoekstra ought to follow this up with a second, having a Chinese man sitting in a truck at a Chinese port with shipping containers as far as the eye can see, checking off lading slips on his laptop. They can call it “Thank you Debbie Regulate-it-now” and he can go through a similar spiel where the man thanks Debbie for manufacturing set up in China due to the burdensome costs of lefty regulation and hints to manufacturers such as Ford (truck), computers (Lenovo which bought IBM’s personal computer business) and Ipad (he could pick one up at the end of the ad).

If I were Hoekstra, I’d put a cowboy hat on the guy and have him speak with a southwestern drawl just to tweak the PC crowd (or maybe the guy could give a HT to American education with a hint that the pols in Washington need to go back to school.

Dusty on February 6, 2012 at 9:42 AM

That’s racist?

I got no problem with this ad.

The Presiden’t tax cuts gut the SS system. No one even talks about that. I think this is racist!

Deafdog on February 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The overwhelming support for this ad in the comments tells the entire story.I’m not sure why Republicans think they can win elections with only the section of white voters who have no problem with racial demagoguery. But more power to them.

libfreeordie on February 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I hate when the liberals do not take their morning Haldol so we don’t have to deal with their mental disorders.

gator70 on February 6, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Racism? You can’t be serious!

I have to burst another bubble,even though we did not see a straw hat, Odysseus, straw hats are worn in the Territories, outside Hong Kong….I have pictures from 1970!

tomshup on February 6, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I saw a Chinese farmer walking behind an ox and plow wearing a conical straw hat in an area between Shenzen and Guangzhou (formerly Canton) last year. And I saw him from the window of the speeding bullet train I was riding.

And I am not joking.

Hoof Hearted on February 6, 2012 at 10:12 AM

“I’m not sure why ….”

[libfreeordie on February 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM]

Because you’re too stupid to get past the knee-jerk urge to politically demagogue Republicans in order to defend your failed progressive policies.

Dusty on February 6, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Well, I just met Pete Hoekstra at a meet and greet breakfast. I wish I’d seen this before I got there. I think the ad blows. Not because of the so-called racist element (the black churches are already on that in Detroit, btw) but because it doesn’t articulate how Debbie’s lock-step leftist voting stance plays into China’s boom. Pete articulated it at the meeting, but he needs to do better with the ads. Say what you want about Gingrich and his negativity, he can articulate the conservative position on the economic issues. We need that if we’re going to get rid of Stabenow.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Racist, my rear end. I’ve been to China, as have some of the readers here. And, yes, they still wear straw hats. Hell, I bought one for my father to wear while doing his gardening and he wore it faithfully for years. My father was Swedish/Scottish and it not only looked good on him, it protected him from the sun quite nicely.

totherightofthem on February 6, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I think it was a great ad. Now do one how Debbie Spenditnow feels global warming while she is traveling in a plane.

Conservative4Ever on February 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

The actress sounded natural to me. Then again, I’m not a squishy helping the left destroy conservatism one cut at a time.

peacenprosperity on February 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Class-warfare demogogues will whine about the rhetoric of Republican candidates this year… without a hint of irony.

Watch Vice President Joe Biden last week feigning an Indian accent to mock foreign call service employees.

This is not the first time Biden has mocked hard-working Indians. In 2006, Biden came under fire for making this remark about Indian-Americans in Delaware: “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

[Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.]

Terp Mole on February 6, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Jazz Shaw thinks the political ad is racist! Stupid, stupid, stupid statement, and stupid definition of ‘racist’.

dahni on February 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Nothing racist about that ad. Lots of people know that China is buying most of our national debt, and having a pretty Chinese-looking girl “thank” Debbie Spenditnow Stabenow for the Chinese economy is very clever in waking up voters to this fact.

Besides, even Chinese (legal) immigrants to America probably won’t find this ad offensive. They know that laborers back in China are overworked and underpaid in an artificially undervalued currency, and only the Communist party leaders actually profit from economic growth, and are probably much happier in the States where hard work is rewarded.

Steve Z on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

So to avoid racism, the part of the Chinese girl should have been played by … Madonna? Or is portraying other nationalities racist by definition? Aren’t we just getting tired of the race card? Do we have to have it from Hot Air writers? Give us a break.

Christian Conservative on February 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM

It’s not racist. It’s just a crude appeal to jingoism.

Rakshasa on February 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

This is why I am not a Democrat, or a Republican.
This is why I am not a Atheist or a Christian or Muslim.
All it takes for some people is to believe the message comes from their side.
Look how easy you people are played. Is it Racist or isn’t it?
Is it effective?
As long as the weak or strong paradigm is sold this sort of nonsense will prevail.
Don’t forget, we sold the world on strong economies for everyone.
Now we are going to say we are weak because others are strong?
Is it really necessary to blame another nation for our problems?
Because if it is, it’s time for war.

Observation on February 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM

My daughter taught English in China. They hate us and love our money. This girl speaks English better than a lot of Americans.

Rosemary Kelly on February 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

My daughter taught English in China. They hate us and love our money. This girl speaks English better than a lot of Americans.

Rosemary Kelly on February 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Interesting. I’ve lived in China for a while now. I never got the sense I was hated for being American. What made your daughter think that?

DarkCurrent on February 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM

The ad is idiotic – but I don’t think Hoekstra’s looking for votes from those that would feel so.
It fires up the base. It obviously invite criticism – which then allows folks to rant about ‘oh excuse me if I’m not p.c.’ – and similar b.s.
And you’ll always get the Malkinites with their defensive ‘raaaacist’ mantra.
But regardless of that being MM’s favored crutch – even she didn’t like the ad. Though she went with a tepid “Is the ad less than tasteful? Yes. ”
Wow…guts!
Then she goes on to list all the times ‘the other side’ did something.
It it always gonna be the same tired script here?
Yes, it is.
Anyway, dumb ad.

verbaluce on February 6, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I worked with guitar factories in Guangzhou and they do indeed hate the Americans (and also Latvians like my former business partner) who project an “I am superior to you little people and I know everything better than you do” attitude. Which was the attitude of more than half of the Americans I encountered there.
The Chinese do like Americans. In fact, they love Americans who have the courtesy to listen to them, and to take them and their customs and culture seriously, and to treat them as equals. At least, that’s how it is with me and my Chinese friends.

Hoof Hearted on February 6, 2012 at 2:21 PM

There are women who look like that all over San Francisco. They are not called Chinese, or Asian. They are known as “brunettes.”

Emperor Norton on February 5, 2012 at 8:51 PM

All along the West Coast actually.
I know one as Bridgette, one as Debbie, and one as Andrea, but her family and friends call her Andy.

Bubba Redneck on February 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I don’t find it that objectionable. Besides, viewers will remember nothing more than the label “Debbie Spend-It-Now,” and Stabenow will most certainly run objectionable ads against Hoekstra.

Lighten up. One thousand years from now people will still be mocking accents. Do you think the Chinese don’t routinely mock Americans?

Colony14 on February 6, 2012 at 5:25 PM

It’s clumsy and not particularly clever, but racist? Nope. Get a life, Jazz, and stop tossing around the racist label as indiscriminately as the left.

SukieTawdry on February 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Racist?
probably not
Hypocritical?
You betcha. Hoekstra attacking anyone’s record as big spending is laughable.
Aye votes for two unfunded wars, check
Aye vote Med Part D, check
Aye vote $700 billion bailout, check
Aye vote to increase the debt limit (5 times), check
Aye vote $400 million bridge to nowhere, check
Etc., etc.
Hoekstra should check his own record before making another commercial.
Just sayin…

greataunty on February 6, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3