Minter airs general election TV spot for the primary, hm.

Following in the footsteps of Matt Dunne, Sue Minter has put out her first TV ad for the gubernatorial primary. And following in the footsteps of Matt Dunne, her ad raises strategic doubts in my mind. (Not counting the missed opportunity to use “Minter Fresh” as the tagline.)

(Gee, why am I not a campaign manager?)

The ad focuses on her work as Irene Recovery Officer, which strikes me as a questionable place to start her TV effort.

First of all, Irene was a traumatic event, but it was five years ago already. It’s been front and center in her campaign since day one. Doesn’t she have anything more recent to brag on?

Second, the ad is misleading on a key point: she was the second Irene Recovery Officer. She succeeded Neale Lunderville, who occupied the post during the critical first few months of the operation. Irene happened in late August 2011; Minter took over in January 2012.

(This is the same convenient omission made on Minter’s Wikipedia page by FourViolas, an editor who’s made 13 changes to the page since mid-March.)

I’ve got a “third” and “fourth” that concern the same idea: that this ad would play better as part of the general election campaign, not the Democratic primary.

Third, the ad reinforces her service in the Shumlin administration, which is a dubious proposition for the small, liberal-leaning August primary electorate. The three Democrats are trying to craft policy profiles distinct from the Governor’s, and all are running to Shumlin’s left. An ad highlighting Minter’s administrative chops would be more pertinent in the general campaign.

Fourth, the voting pool for the August primary is going to be small, staunchly Democratic, and well-informed. The general electorate may have little idea who she is, but most primary voters don’t need an introduction to Sue Minter; they need to know where she stands on issues.

As a member of Shumlin’s cabinet, she wasn’t able to promote her own priorities. She’s behind her two competitors in terms of identifying herself with core issues.  Matt Dunne has been positioning himself as a progressive since the early stages of the campaign. How progressive he actually is… well, that’s another question. But the positioning has had some impact. Galbraith has the most well-defined profile of the three, for good and for ill.

And you know, there’s less than seven weeks until primary day. Time’s a-wastin’.


7 thoughts on “Minter airs general election TV spot for the primary, hm.

  1. Dave G.

    Minter is a classic one-trick pony. She throws Irene around like Guiliani threw 911 around when he ran for president. How did that work out for him?

  2. Brooke Paige

    Democratic Peas in a Pod ?

    I hear Sue tying everything to her time as Irene Recovery Officer and her brief stint as Sec. of Transportation, but only slight mention of the fact that her rise to prominence was engineered by Pete Shumlin. I agree with you, John, that it is a bit disingenuous to claim principal credit for the recovery without a mention of Lunderville and the legions of state employees, contractors and volunteers who did the hands-on work that brought our state back.

    Peter seems like a competent fellow, however he lacks any of the “spark” you expect from a new job applicant, let alone a political person attempting to get elected to high office. Beyond being against further expansion of industrial wind (which I agree is senseless) and a higher degree of fiscal responsibility, Peter seems a little short on the vision thing,

    Matt seem to think that gluing himself the Bernie and being Mr. Broadband will get the job done. I was at a “forum” on hunger in VT where he had the audacity to suggest that High Speed Internet would resolve: hunger, homelessness, education and even our drug problems. I am with him on the education part, however the rest of it had me (and many in the audience) scratching heads. Of course Sue suggested that better roads would solve all our ills, an equally absurd proposition.

    Bottom-line, the three “golden children” in the Democratic gubernatorial race all seem to have similar positions, like peas in a pod, the question is; “are they capable of being the chief executive officer of a $6 billion dollar enterprise?” Neat slogans and nifty big ideas are what have gotten Vermont into our current troubles. What is needed now is a period of competent management to consolidate our successes and repair (or cast off) those enterprises that have been unsuccessful (like VHC, GMCB . . .).

    Beyond the primary, the Democratic victor will be up against either Bruce, who has demonstrated a lack of patience with the voters, which has been revealed by his premature turn “to the dark side” most probably a reaction to his inability to gain traction in the polls despite his having invested well over $200,000 in an endless stream of television, radio and direct mail messaging. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him “invest” a half million in his primary election effort before its over and – if he somehow, by sheer luck, bests Phil in the primary – to spend another half million (or more) in the general election. (Note to Bruce the angry looking “Shumlin & Phil” show thing ain’t working – try something different and friendlier!)

    OR the Democratic victor will be up against the wildly popular Phil who will prove difficult to beat despite his lack of depth on the issues (to date) and his unwillingness to take controversial stands on school consolidation, VHS/GMCB or industrial wind and solar siting and other “hot button” issues.

    Sadly, this election (as I guess so many are) will be more of a beauty contest rather than an intellectual competition.

    And the Winner is (in alphabetical order): “The Google Guy” – “the Para-legal with the Floppy Hat” – “The Ambassador’s Son” – “The Wall Street Millionaire” – “The Figure Skater” – “The Stock Car Racer” or “The Old Newsboy.”

    At least there isn’t a real politician in the bunch !

  3. David Ellenbogen

    Irene is to Minter what 9/11 was to Guilliani. Stop draping yourself with it. Enough about it already!

  4. Robert Haskins

    Brooke, Lisman is on course to spend between $1.5 and $2,000,000 on his dark side Challenger style implosion campaign. It’s remarkable how tone deaf the guy is, first off going so totally unhinged negative against Scott, then secondly as John Walters astutely pointed out, bringing in moneybags wall street buddy Steve Forbes to stump for him at a ritzy Golf Club. Lisman lobbyist-in-chief Sholdice cashing those big fat checks running this type of campaign is borderline treasonous against her employer. I guess you don’t see the folly when you surround yourself with paid staffers in lieu of truth tellers. It’s fun to watch, keep it coming. Next up Trump endorsement?

  5. Brooke Paige

    Robert, It amazes me that political advisors have directed Bruce to follow them down the rabbit hole to their Bizzaro World view of marketing where up is down and left is right. I thought Bruce was a smart fellow, however by now the “blow back” should have given him a few clues that this was a BAD move.

    Reflecting Bruce’s Scott = Shumlin campaign has reminded me of the independent film from my college days “Groove Tube” (1974) which featured a commercial for “Brown 25” a new extruded “space age polymer” material from Uranus Corporation with the “strength of steel, the flexibility of rubber, and the nutritional value of beef stew” which is “in the end” was nothing more than human feces.

  6. newzjunqie

    Just watched Minter, Dunne campaign ads plus openings for Bernie. Not a fan of Minter but searched for redeeming qualities. If there were any, would be completely overshadowed by the grandstanding, showboating high-minded happy talk — everything all about Sue all the time — gives appearance of singlehandedly doing it all, not served well by advisor unless rejecting advice to tone down aforementioned, if any.

    Opens for Bernie, sound is bad, but translates his message into her own:

    In stark contrast Dunne is all about what needs to be done & how he could accomplish it but doesn’t have all-about-Matt feel. And he has plenty of of his accomplishments aside from Google exec but directs focus of campaign as about us, VTers.

    Opens for Bernie using very effective repitition rhetorical tool:

    Minter sounds pumped-up on power-of-positive-thinking motivational seminars where “you can do anything” is the only message. Way too full of self, greatly exaggerates experience. Secretary at AOT months, makes it sound like years. Would like to see & hear serious sober-minded assessments instead of giddy positive peptalking which mirrors the high side of a bipolar cycle.

    Were she to get it — personally believe establishment bonas will damage campaign — so likelihood is near zero, thought of listening to the speechifying, taking the credit for every accomplishment for two years just too much. When everything is all about the candidate, focus & message become badly blurred.

    HRC pulls this also, trumpeting so-called resume, experience, much of it partly or completely untrue. Continually spouts qualifications but unlikability vastly outweighs it all. Thought of four more years of her & Bill similarly tortuous to imagine.


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