Barbara Boxer unleashed a forceful attack on Carly Fiorina on Thursday – a purely negative ad noting that, as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, the Republican nominee for Senate laid off 30,000 workers, shipped jobs to China, tripled her own salary, bought a million-dollar yacht and five corporate jets.
Kaboom. That’s nasty. Especially because the charges are based in fact and the star of the ad is Hurricane Carly herself, defending the “massive layoffs” she implemented at H-P. And the kicker slogan is killer: “Carly Fiorina – outsourcing jobs, out for herself.”
You can’t get too much more negative than that, unless you were to accuse her of personally stealing Christmas from the crippled children of jobless workers.
But as Calbuzz always says: an election is not a tea party. Negative is fair, if it’s true.
And the Babs campaign backed up the charges in the ad with clips, like this quote from Fiorina from Information Week 10/16/06:
When we combined the R&D budgets of HP and Compaq, we didn’t have to have two R&D teams working on industry standard servers, for instance. We could have one. That’s why the merger was such a great idea. We could decrease the cost structure by billions and billions of dollars. In the course of my time there, we laid off over 30,000 people. That’s why I understand where the anger came from.
Fiorina’s head didn’t exactly explode. But her spokeshuman called the ad “baseless, personal and deceptive” and the campaign sent out a letter to supporters seeking urgent contributions to respond. Said the appeal: “I need your help to set the record straight. Your immediate donation will help our campaign get up on the airwaves to hold Boxer accountable for her abysmal record.”
For reporters, the Fiorina campaign sent out an exhaustive “fact check” e-mail arguing:
1. During Fiorina’s tenure as CEO, H-P’s workforce increased to more than 145,000 from 84,400.
2. After she left, CEO Mark Hurd laid off another 40,000 workers.
3. While she was CEO, H-P’s revenues grew to $86.7 billion from $42.4 billion.
4. H-P is a stronger company today because of what Fiorina did as CEO.
5. Boxer has taken large campaign contributions from companies that shipped jobs overseas.
All of which raises the question, “So what?” Because the charge – backed up by Fiorina’s own statement – is that she laid off 30,000 workers. And she shipped jobs to China, etc.
Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski would not tell Calbuzz how much money they’re putting behind the ad, which is scheduled to run in markets throughout the state. “The Outsourcing ad is in rotation with the Made in America ad. We’ll run them together for as long as needed to reach our target audience,” Rose said.
With the increased stakes in controlling the U.S. Senate from the Tea Party victory of anti-masturbation advocate Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Republican Primary, our guess is the Boxer hit on Fiorina will get some serious air time. At least until the Fiorina-would-overturn-Roe v Wade ad comes up in rotation.
Fun with flacks: Along with toll taker and industrial paint drying time assessor, the most boring job in the world has got to be working as a spokeshuman for Meg Whitman, and we mean that in the nicest possible way, and with no offense intended to the Volcanic Pompei, Million Dollar Mary Anne or Dependable Darrel.
But really: day after day after day rolling out the heaavvy robo-recitations of “she is endorsing Meg because she believes Meg is the best person to create jobs and fight for every area of the state” and “this is the latest example of problems Jerry Brown is having shoring up his base” and “adoring crowds of Indio residents, delirious with joy, rended their hearts and their garments as they greeted Meg with chants of “Meg’s Plan! Meg’s Plan! Meg’s Plan!” Sheesh.
Which is why Calbuzz was so pleased by one of the dozen or so daily missives from Meg Com that landed in our mail box Thursday, linking to a video which not only contained humor (!) and a light touch (!!) – but also bore unmistakable signs of irony (!!!) as well.
Sent out by Andrea Jones Rivera, deputy under assistant junior vice president for eMeg’s “Media Memo,” it made the quite piquant observation that Jerry Brown’s latest ad – in which he boasts “I’m not going to give you any phony plans or snappy slogans” – is actually jam-packed full of focus group-friendly, time tested hoary platitudes:
It won’t take playing the soundtrack backwards and at half speed to see that the same ad where he decries “snappy slogans” has 7 of them by our count. Take a look for yourself.
Snappy Slogans in Jerry’s new ad (7)
· tough decisions
· live within our means
· power from the state capital and move it down to the local level
· closer to the people
· no new taxes without voter approval
· pull together
· As Californians first.
Well done, Amusing Andrea – more like that. And tell the rest of that crowd in the communications shop to lighten up a little, too, willya?
Speaking of flack humor: Pretty good mash-up tweaking Meg by Jerry Kid’s.