Do TV ads actually tell us anything about who a candidate really is? In the case of the 12th district senate race, I would have to say yes. The ad for Republican Beth Mizell presents the image of a genteel, Southern Belle with a deep attachment and understanding of the region.
The ad is filled with striking pastoral imagery which captures the scenic beauty of Washington Parish and aerial footage of a town within the district. This ad is not just about the candidate. It shows an attachment to and an understanding of the region and its values. Mizell demonstrates an awareness of the concerns of voters, saying that the people deserve to know where their tax dollars are spent. There is also a humility not seen in most elected officials (and certainly not her opponent), as she ends the add saying “it would be an honor” to serve as senator.
Some people may find Murphy’s ad funny. That’s one way to look at it. I would argue that the ad presents the image of a man who is egotistic and autocratic. Whereas Mizell’s imagery is pastoral, Murphy’s is authoritarian, presenting himself in military garb barking out orders, which his subject must obey or suffer the consequences.
The ad is filled with angry bombast and depicts Mickey Murphy as a wannabe dictator. In other words, like most of our current lawmaking body that has run this state into the ground.
Nonsense you say?
Not when you consider his background as a former dean of a technical school.
The dirty little secret in Louisiana politics is that for many years, technical schools had a well- earned reputation for being local fiefdoms run by power hungry dictators.
Those personality traits are on full display in Murphy’s ad, and 12th district voters had better take note, lest they find their necks under the drill sergeant’s boot heel.