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

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Reliance on Communication

Political campaigns have been frequent and strong these past few months as candidates doggedly attempt to display their face and message to the voting public around them. Although there are many different ways candidates communicate their political ideas, television commercials and advertisements remain one of the most heavily relied upon forms of communication. Kansas’s Kevin Yoder is running a campaign that includes the usual heavy dependence on television ads. He is the Republican candidate for Kansas 3rd Congressional District. Although Dennis Moore has been the Representative for this House seat for the past six terms, his wife, Stephene Moore, is attempting to obtain his seat this year by running against Yoder as the Democrat candidate. Look to Kevin Yoder’s campaign ad above which is titled “Getting Kansas Back to Work.” Within this commercial, Kevin Yoder presents an ad that demonstrates the importance of communication, that does not put down his opponent, and that portrays an optimistic view for the future.

Within this ad, Kevin Yoder portrays himself am amiable man who is truly concerned with listening to the community. Since the ad shows images of Yoder inside of and near buildings and restaurants that are within the Kansas City area, this ad is clearly directed to the people of Kansas. He places an emphasis upon the small businesses within the state, and how he knows that it has been difficult for the people. In the very first scene, Yoder is featured in front of a closed, brick business strip. The community is able to connect with this image since many people have experienced being out of work, or have at least seen similar closed buildings. Yoder constructs the idea that he is here to bring what the people of Kansas want and need done to Washington. He knows the value of connecting with the people by showing them that it is more than acceptable to be the common man.

Although Yoder has other ads that focus on the negatives, this ad does not contain any bad mouthing about his opponent, Stephene Moore. Instead, Yoder focus upon what Washington as a whole needs to improve. Around the middle of the ad, the words “spends too much”, “borrow too much”, and “tax too much” flash across the screen next to Nancy Pelosi’s picture. As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi represents the House, and more specifically the Democrats within it. Seeing her picture next to these negative phrases forces people to think about the House as a whole, and not just Stephene Moore. It sends a message to the American people that this nation should be focusing on the positives and what a given candidate can do to make this country better for the people.

This particular ad is highly optimistic. Yoder clearly points out the problems that the people of Kansas are experiencing now, but also offers a solution. He provides relief and inspires hope for Kansans as he announces that the “best days are still ahead of us” while he is pictured at a diner eating and talking to people that represent the common man. He is seen listening to regular business workers and being actually attentive to what they are saying. Not only is he showing Americans that he can relay their desires to Congress, but also that every person has a voice and can make a difference by speaking out. America has the capability to become an even greater nation simply by providing communication from common Americans to Washington, by focusing on the assets that people have to offer, and by remembering that improving the future involves being optimistic and putting forth effort.

Mary Rometti

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