Political Plays: Obama cried, Rubio wore heels

Posted at 10:03 AM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 10:03:40-05

Last week in review in national news….

In his first big initiative in his last year in office, President Obama made a controversial call for more gun control in light of many mass shootings that occurred last year. 

A critique of campaign ads

This week, many GOP candidates released their first TV ads. It was interesting to see the themes they chose, whether to go positive or negative and who they chose to attack in them.

Donald Trump, who’s hardly had to pay for any media exposure, released his first ad this week. It wasn’t as bombastic or as wild as you would think, Trump opens with a picture of President Obama and the Democratic front-runner side-by-side and hits on his main crowd-pleasing promises; to name our enemies, to cut the head off ISIS and stop illegal immigration. While it wasn’t spectacularly good or bad, it seemed strangely subdued and professional for Trump’s otherwise (high-energy) campaign.

Sen. Ted Cruz had the most interesting and unique, also hitting on illegal immigration, showing people dressed in black business suits with brief cases crossing a southwest border arguing that many more people would be upset about the millions of immigrants sneaking in illegally if they realized how much it hurt America’s economy. He closes with a promise to protect and secure the border.

Sen. Marco Rubio released a simple ad with only him in it saying America is in a “civilization struggle” where either freedom and liberty win or radical Islamic terrorism will win. For Rubio, the ad seems what Trump would call “low-energy.”

Former Governor Rick Santorum chose to mock Sen. Ted Cruz for his first ad of the season. But he didn’t necessarily attack him on a policy issue but rather implied he wasted time reading “fairy tales” while in the senate, referencing both the infamous video of him reading his daughters’ bedtime story “Green Eggs and Ham” from the Senate floor during his filibuster and also his Christmas ad reading a book to his family. While this doesn’t put Santorum in a positive light, it is reasonable that he’d want to attack one of the front runners. But mostly, it seems a lame topic to make your one and possibly only TV ad on.

Christie, Paul, Bush and Huckabee all released ads in 2015. Fiorina and Carson had exceptionally good spots that were well-produced, modern styled with unique and powerful messages.

On the Democratic side, all three candidates (though two, if you go by Joe Biden’s comments this week) also began putting out their first campaign ads last year.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has the most interesting production style and presented his message in a moving way, though using Obama’s “Real Change” motto is a strange strategy.

In a further effort for the very similar GOP presidential candidates to distinguish between each other, both Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign and Sen. Rand Paul made fun of Sen. Marco Rubio for wearing man booties this week. The senator stepped out on the campaign trail this week in New Hampshire making headlines for his stylish attire.

In local news this week, two of the major Baltimore City mayoral candidates released their plans to make Baltimore safe again.

Former mayor Sheila Dixon released a four-point plan, saying crime numbers were much less under her reign and that she can do it again.

City councilman and husband of the city’s states attorney, Nick Mosby released a 15-point plan on his strategy to reduce crime.

Gov. Hogan and Mayor Rawlings-Blake held a joint press conference a partnership that will address the thousands of vacant homes in neighborhoods across Baltimore. The multi-hundred million dollar project of state funds will go to about 20-city blocks.

And City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby sat down with local media this week to discuss her take on her first year in office that has mostly been dominated by controversial charges brought against the six city police officers involved in the Freddie Gray case.

While many people love her for her standing up for justice there are also many who hate her and accuse her of having a political agenda, which makes this moment in her interview with the Baltimore Sun all the more unfortunate. In the interview, Mosby appears to misspeak when talking about the State's Attorney's Office legislative agenda. Watch starting at mark 2:41.