The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Monday, November 1, 2010

Charles Grassley Works For Us

Over the last few months the political campaign races have intensified. This is a crucial election for both Democrats and Republicans because we could witness a huge shift in political power in the United States. The Republicans are projected to gain back the House and possibly the Senate. However, when looking at all of the inconsistencies of the current political scene, one of the biggest consistencies on the US political scene has been Senator Charles Grassley.

Charles Grassley has been representing Iowans in the US senate for the last thirty years and is expected to get re-elected again this year. The political advertisement I have chosen is a Charles Grassley ad that deals with his work for Iowans. The ad begins with a man labeling Grassley as "pure Iowa." The next person to appear in the ad is his wife, who says that Grassley runs at 5:15 every morning as if to represent Grassley's work ethic and attention to consistency. After that images pop up of the things Grassley used to do leading up to his role in government. These images portray Grassley as a leader. To go further with this, the image that portrays Grassley as a farmer makes him personable. He's not just a Senator that spends all of his time in Washington. He is portraying himself as someone that any of us can go up to and have a conversation with. The images of Grassley as an assembly line worker and union member represent him as someone that has worked there way up through the ranks of society to get where he is now as a long standing US Senator.

The final half of the video looks at Grassley as a Senator. Multiple people talk about Grassley's long standing voting record and his consistency. This is what sells his re-election and provides reason as to why we the voter should vote to re-elect Grassley. He is consistent. He is obviously popular and doing his job for the most part, otherwise Iowans wouldn't keep voting for him. This ad is brilliant in the sense that Grassley finally comes into the ad at this point and reiterates what everyone has said throughout the ad that he is a hard worker that works for Iowans. This encourages us to get involved. Grassley makes himself more appealing to us and more like us. By standing out in a field and talking into the camera he is trying to present himself as an average Democratic US citizen.

In conclusion, in this political ad, Charles Grassley promotes himself as the ideal citizen in a variety of ways. Through the image as a successful farmer, Grassley shows that he not only relates to the occupation of many Iowans, but that he is a hard worker dedicated to whatever he does. Through the images of working the assembly line and being a union member, he represents the American dream in the sense that if one continues to work hard and go through the necessary "steps" on the social ladder, then they will be rewarded, and in this case Grassley has been a Sentaor for thirty years. Grassley comes off as very personable. He portrays himself as just the average American citizen. Grassley isn't wearing a suit and tie and sitting at a desk in Washington when he appears in the ad. He's talking to us in an open field wearing blue jeans and a simple button down blue shirt. This makes him very personable. It makes him very approachable and he is calling us, the voters, to action by being someone we can trust because his appearance and because of his very respectable record in the Senate. Its for these reasons that Grassley's campaign ad calls Iowans to action and provides an ideal model of citizenship

Caleb Copley

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