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

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Tough Grandma
Roxanne Conlin is a Democratic candidate for Senate in Iowa. She is also “one tough grandma.” From the beginning of the ad the viewer is exposed to symbols that build trust towards the candidate. As the ad continues the voters of Iowa are bombarded with facts on how Conlin is a tough fighter who is willing to stand up for anyone, while being put at ease by the cute antics of the grandchildren. It appeals to the voters sense of family, and trust that Conlin will fight for them.

Right from the start voters are hit with a major symbol, grandchildren. Grandchildren are a symbol of family, and togetherness. Having grandchildren is something almost every Mother and Father want to have at one point in their life. Conlin is relating herself to parents and grandparents through the use of her grandchildren. Also, the innocence of the children brings a sense of trust, as people rarely think of children as liars. Roxanne Conlin is representing the American Dream as everyone should strive for a close family.

Using the word grandma appeals to the public as a whole. The word grandma brings up two very different, yet still positive perceptions. One perceptions is the sweet kind grandma that makes spaghetti and meatballs and warm cookies. The other, and the one that Conlin hopes to capatilize on is the old lady who is stubborn and will fight for what she believes in. Although it sounds counterintuitive being stubborn is actually a great thing in the view of the average American. Looking at the commercial Conlin’s grandchildren swear that their grandma will fight for what is right. Conlin is willing to fight for everday people, and will fight for what she believes in which is of course whatever the public believes in. Being a grandma and using it to her advantage is a very smart move by Conlin as people respect and somewhat admire Grandparents. Grandparents are the head of a family, and deserve respect.

The ad’s main point is not how Conlin is a great grandparent. It is that she is a “strong leader who is not afraid to take on tough fights” and that Conlin “represents everyday people who do not have a voice.” Conlin is the role model for all Americans. She is not lazy, she is willing to fight even though she know it will be hard and that she might lose. Also, she stands up for everyone, no matter there status. Conlin is the ideal citizen, fighting for everyone and anyone no matter how hard it is. Conlin is a tough grandma who will represent all Iowan’s in Washington; while always wearing a suit jacket.

Jake Wasserman

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