Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Infomercial shows the political and social aspects of Dean

Howard Dean had 30 minutes to highlight his campaign in an infomercial that aired Sunday night on Fox. Madison residents were the first to have the opportunity to view this ad, due to Wisconsin’s declared importance in the primaries, but Dean critics said the commercial did not detail Dean’s political views, and therefore did not draw as many new supporters as it could have.

The ad’s success in Madison may dictate its further use in other areas of the country.

The ad was part biographical and part political. Members of Dean’s family shared their views of Dean as a brother, a son and a husband. They described his participation in many different fields of work — he began as a student teacher, went on to work on Wall Street and eventually became a family doctor.


Dean did not become a politician until much later in life, when he served as Governor of Vermont and worked to balance the state budget without cutting important social services such as health care. The ad also featured people of mixed races, ages and classes discussing their views on different issues such as health care, war in Iraq and tax cuts. It emphasized the idea that everyone should have a voice in a democracy, not only people belonging to wealthy special-interest groups.

“We need a large amount of people to donate a small amount of money,” said one person in the ad.

The ad also showed clips of Dean’s speeches in which he spoke dynamically about being the voice for all Americans.

“You have the power to take our country back,” Dean said in a speech shown on the ad.

According to Mike Tate, Wisconsin’s Dean for President Campaign Director, the goal of the ad was to attract more people to Dean’s election campaign.

“We are trying to reach out to voters in different ways and bring new voters into the process,” Tate said.

The ad was balanced between biography and politics, according to Tate.

“I think the ad was great at focusing not just on who the guy is, but what other people think about him,” Tate said. “His campaign is about re-energizing people.”

However, campaign leaders for other candidates said the ad was missing substantial information on Dean’s political stances.

“It was a lot of anti-business rant,” said Frank Hennick, a member of Students for Bush. “It lacked specific policy recommendations and it did not get people more familiar with who he is as a politician.”

Dan Casanova, President of Students for Kucinich said the ad failed to attract people who were not already participants of the Dean campaign.

“It seemed like it was just a fund-raising program instead of informing people on his issues,” Casanova said.

The ad was also misleading, according to Casanova, because the ad emphasized health care for everyone, while his policies will only change health care for certain age groups.

Amy Schultz, President of Students for Clark, also felt the ad failed to attract the following that Dean supporter’s expect.

“If [Dean’s] angry rhetoric isn’t impressing people now, it won’t impress them during the general election,” Schultz said.

According to Schultz, the Dean campaign sets a tone that is anti-corporate, which may turn away moderate voters.

Schultz also said Dean does not have the necessary experience in dealing with war, unlike Clark, a former military General.

“It’s going to come down to national security, and who people can trust best to clean up the war in Iraq. I trust Wesley Clark because he has that experience,” Schultz said.

On the other hand, Dean advocates viewed the ad as a beneficial tool in spreading Dean’s message.

“It was an excellent opportunity for Wisconsin,” said Shira Roza, Student Coordinator for Wisconsin for Dean. “I think it was another way to inspire people.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *