Continuing our look at Fiorina ads, this one is called "Sir," and started playing in late September. At this point, she'd ditched the tobacco/jaundice filter:
I think this was aimed mainly at right-wingers to prove her bona fides with them – and the community at conservative site Red State responded favorably. I wonder how effective this was with other people, though. This exchange (from June 2009) is well-known in right-wing circles, where it was the scandal du jour, and Boxer was denounced as arrogant, anti-military and all the usual BS. However, if you weren't familiar with the incident already, I'm not sure you'd know what the hell was going on from this clip. Boxer could have been edited to look worse, actually, and I think she sounds slightly weary but fairly polite. I would imagine many women would sympathize with her on the asking-for-a-little-respect front. Even for those who feel differently (apart from right-wingers, naturally), Boxer might come off as touchy, but was this ever really that big a deal? Meanwhile, yet again, Fiorina's delivery is "eager playground taunt." In fact, Fiorina brought this incident up during their debate, and Boxer said she actually called the general afterwards and said, "Do I owe you an apology?" and he said no. This always seemed like a "red meat for the base" or desperation attack to me, one to fire up the faithful but not likely to swing the undecided.
I'm always interested to hear how other California voters across the political spectrum react to individual ads, or the overall deluge. To my eyes, Fiorina has been pitching herself as the responsible adult, but many of her attack ads (and almost all of her ads have been negative) have been extremely shallow. The two images contradict, and often do so in the very same ad. And earlier in the election cycle she was pitching herself as a "conservative" Republican, while later she adopted a "transcend party" pitch. That's hardly unprecedented, but in both cases there's a contradiction. Her campaign has depended on voters not remembering and not paying attention – both to Fiorina's campaign ads, and to which party and policies caused the vast majority of damage to America over the past decade.