A critical measure of a political ads’ impact is whether it gets noticed.
By that measure alone, state Sen. Leah Vukmir’s pistol ad (“Threatened”) made a mark. Among those who have commented, RightWisconsin Editor James Wigderson yesterday offered a decidedly skeptical (and lengthy) critique.
Because I’ve endorsed Leah, I wanted some independent judgment. I asked two consultants with significant Wisconsin and national experience — and no stake in the current Senate race — what they thought. In a nutshell, they thought the ad was a bit risky but viewed it in favorable terms.
I think the ad is great.
In a mere 30 seconds, Leah sent multiple messages. Most importantly, they were credible messages.
Message No. 1: Don’t mess with me. I don’t wilt. I don’t get pushed around.
Message No. 2: I own a gun. (It’s a .38 that she has owned for a decade. She has a Wisconsin concealed carry permit.)
Message No. 3: I am pro-life.
Message No. 4: I’ll work with President Donald Trump.
In a GOP primary against a Marine (in case you had not heard), these are important messages.
The ad would have failed if the gun were a prop instead of one Leah owns. It would have failed if she had not joined other Republican legislators in firmly resisting the angry and ugly backlash against Act Ten. It would have failed if the claim of threats against her was not credible.
This is the kind of ad that can do more than help Leah in the primary. In a time when conventional wisdom has been turned upside down, it’s a message that works in a general election. A nurse and military mom who doesn’t take crap is someone to contend with.