Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Left Masthead
October 1, 2016
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Truthdig Bazaar more items

A/V Booth
Print this item

The Subtle Art of the Campaign Ad

Posted on Dec 17, 2007
Huckabee Christmas ad

H/t to the Drudge Report for noting the Christian imagery in Huckabee’s holiday ad.

Tired of those manipulative campaign ads “mostly about politics,” as Mike Huckabee puts it in this clip?  The Republican preacher-politician radiates empathy in this toasty-warm Christmas greeting. But to think that Team Huckabee, or any other candidate’s camp for that matter, would miss a chance to reach out to key demographics in any kind of TV spot is pure folly. 

Watch closely and perhaps hit “pause” right around the time Huckabee says, “What really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ ... ,” and—presto—a Christmas miracle!  Or maybe just a camera crew well trained to use lighting, camera angles and seemingly “incidental” backdrops (or, as the photo below from a speech Bush made at Mt. Rushmore early in his presidency demonstrates, not-so-incidental backdrops) to enhance and amplify a politician’s message.

Watch the clip:



Square, Site wide

Subscribe to the Truthdig YouTube channel:

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every day.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, January 1, 2008 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Sounds like Lefty, may have been on the money.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, January 1, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Huckabee Has Anti-War Protesters Arrested
By: Jane Hamsher Monday December 31, 2007 2:34 pm

After Huckabee blew the landing at his press conference, the Huckabus made its way over to his office nearby where a Ron Paul throng was shouting and a group of anti-war protesters had made their way into his office with signs saying “who would Jesus bomb?”

Eight members of Iowa Occupation Project and Voices for Creative Nonviolence wanted to know how Huckabee rationalized his Christian background with his support for the war in Iraq:

Eight members of the Iowa Occupation Project and Voices for Creative Nonviolence arrived at Huckabee’s Locust St. campaign office early Monday afternoon, waiting for the former Arkansas governor’s reply to a letter delivered two months ago that sought his pledge to completely withdraw from Iraq within 100 days of assuming office; halt all military actions against Iraq and Iran; fund the rebuilding of Iraq as well as health, education and infrastructure needs in the U.S.; and “…the highest quality health care, education and jobs training benefits for veterans of our country’s Armed Services.”

I guess Huckabee wasn’t much interested in giving an answer because he had them arrested.

Report this

By Louise, December 26, 2007 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner] . . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause . . .  for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.”
George Washington, Sept. 14, 1775

“SHAME, DISGRACE and RUIN to themselves and their country.”

Which probably explains Washington’s locked jaw and obvious displeasure as he looks down on the little George who approves torture.

And Jefferson’s intense disdain ... cant even bring himself to look at the guy.

And Teddy’s contempt, reflected in the sidewise glance at someone who can only pretend to be a leader of men.

And Lincolns quiet rage. Staring full square at the “president” who demeans them all.

Amazing. The faces are the same as they’ve been all these years. They’ve been photographed and reproduced a b-zillion times. But this is the first ... the very first time they have seemed alive. And not only alive, but feeling intense emotion.

Anger, contempt, disgust and rage.

It’s as though they’re asking, “Do you have any clue what so many have fought and died for? Why we have a Constitution? A Bill of Rights? Why we did what we did? Do you have any idea why this country was created little boy? Do you?”


And Huckabee?
Dime store preacher-man wind-up toy.

Do we really want another wind-up toy for president?
I didn’t think so.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 23, 2007 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Seeing the cross in the background, brings a tear to me eye.  Huckabee is so real and honest, he promotes a feel of honesty beyond any of the other candidates. Having a cross, even by accident, just seeing this cross in the picture,  is so warm and cuddly, especially so if it was on fire.

Report this

By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, December 22, 2007 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

You can tell by looking closely at the Bush photo that he wasn’t even at Rushmore; this is trick editing.  (Actually, they brought Rushmore to him; he was busy.)

Notice the “Trinity of Balls” on Huck’s cross? 

You probably know that, in this age of High-Tech, you can’t believe anything you see or read because you can’t really tell its origin or whether it was manipulated in some way. 

I might be an al Qaida operative.

“You can dig the truth all you want, but you may never recognize it, even if it’s staring you in the face.  And this is true.”—Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD

Report this

By Greg Bacon, December 21, 2007 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

Gosh, what kind of leader would a president who is an evangelical Christian be like?

Wow, that really staggers the imagination, to wondere what a bible-thumping, hell fire and brimstone type would be like as president.

Gee, the possibilities are endless…... Just like the wars that will be waged in his god’s name to convert all those heathens abroad and here at home.

If the thought of another so-called “devout” Christian either getting elected or stealing another presidential election doesn’t put the fear of god into you, nothing will.

Report this

By purplewolf, December 20, 2007 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

This so called miracle is as phony as a three dollar bill. Did they consult David Copperfield for the magical appearance of the “miracle cross”?

Every Christian holiday or high holy day was stolen from pagan ceremonial days either the exact same date or a day or two difference. The reason was it was easier to convert pagans to Christianity if the celebration days were at the same times of the year.

The date of Jesus birth has been guestimated from December all the way to March and I have even researched that June was also a possible month. Ask yourself when baby lambs are born and you figure it out. The main animal to give birth in December so the baby animal could be gifted to the baby Jesus is the giraffe.

And for the holiness of stealing this country from the indigenous peoples of America through lies, killing, stealing, underhanded trickery, dishonest land deals, slaughter of the food sources, forced conversion to another religious belief or you were punished by death and other numerous unholy methods utilized by these so called Christians in the name of their God with claims that God gave them this land. It was a lie then as it is a lie rolling off the lips of this so called religious phonies of today. Once they force everyone to their brand of Christianity do they torture and burn and kill all those with other beliefs like was done in the 1600’s in Salem if they refuse to convert?

Report this

By Ga, December 20, 2007 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

“So please, Truthdiggers, stop screaming that Ron Paul is some kind of fascist.

Yeah, well, he kind of, sort of is a bit extreme. Sure, eliminating the IRS makes for a good soundbite, but he is really just a “Government *is* the problem,” kind of guy, which will, following Ronald Reagan’s legacy, result in the more private—CORPORATE—power.

He wants to eliminate too much of government agencies—and like Reagan and Bush—if they can’t be eliminated they will be toothless and run by cronies. Ah, remember FEMA? FCC? FDA? Less and less government regulation always results in more power and less oversight of BIG BUSINESS.

He wants to eliminate our participation in the U.N., in the International Criminal Court, etc. Looks good, for us, perhaps, but the world needs international policing and an international court system, obviously.

So, please stop shouting that he is some kind of progressive.

Report this

By desertdude, December 20, 2007 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Just about everyone’s comment is that it was wrong for Mike Huckabee to say Merry Christmas. What was so wrong about that? The only ones compaining are those who don’t believe in God anyway. So to make everyone happy Christians are to keep their mouth shut. We can’t, because this is the time of the year we celebrate our Lord’s birth. It falls on a former pagan holiday for a reason. To get rid of the pagan celebration Christianity took that day to celebrate Christ’s birth. Nobody knew the acutal date of his birth. No that will be construed as a conspiracy to get control of peoples minds. God Bless You All, and by the have a Merry Christmas.

Report this

By David, December 19, 2007 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Huckabee reminds me of the traveling salesman going from town to town selling bogus baldness tonics to rubes.

Report this

By gerald james, December 18, 2007 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the truth is all this will be mute as time goes on because every knows we are on the decline. the political parties do not care about the people. they care about their shallow egoistic platitudes. the saving grace is when the people come out of apathetic numbness to overthrow all governments that do not support the people. we all need to chant Nam-Myoho- Renge-Kyo. once we all begin to see our personal power has nothing to do with politicians and everything to do with our commitment to be humanistic, then we as a people will collectively destroy all that doesn’t function to serve our best interest.

Report this

By jerry, December 18, 2007 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, this ad is subtle if you are 3 degrees away from being brain dead.

Report this

By Rex Chapman, December 18, 2007 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was scolded once by someone who said Christmas wasn’t Christian, I was young and naive at the time and looked it up, she was right it was the pagan winter solstice celebration. For a 12 year kid to not know that is ok, but a Rev.?

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 18, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

“When fascism comes to America it will be draped in a flag carrying a cross”.

It’s already here.

Report this

By RickinSF, December 18, 2007 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

I dunno about “sharing” a cross.
Burning one is more likely.

Report this

By Thomas Billis, December 18, 2007 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

George Bush was the President you wanted to share a beer with.Huckabee will be the President you want to share a cross with.It just gets worse and worse.

Report this

By May, December 18, 2007 at 9:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m pretty sure the atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists, and assorted other bad sorts will be unwelcome in this country when the christers (whether mormon or baptist) take over.  And, of course, the Muslims won’t be accepted, they barely are now.  What about the Jews?  Will they continue to hold a special place in the hearts of the Christians?  It will be interesting to see.

We’ve gone from the jesus people crying because they supposedly could not publically wish others a Merry Christmas to a blatant jesus message like this one.  If creche decor is frowned upon in public places and the only accepted term is Happy Holidays, how does this stuff get on the public airwaves?

Report this
Paolo's avatar

By Paolo, December 18, 2007 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

Yes, the cross appearing right next to Huckabee’s face is most amusing.

Like all effective ads targeting the dumbed-down, brain-dead American public, this ad appeals to gut level emotion.

For those of you interested in learning about how image makers created the lies we live by (way back in the early 20th century), look up Edward L. Bernays—the father of American advertising. The guy was the quintessential evil genius.

Two of his insights: 1) Don’t try to convince people to buy something (or buy into something) using reason and logic: use emotional images instead. 2) If people need the illusion of reason and logic, create a parade of “experts” (with the illusion of objectivity) to back you up.

Whenever you see a political ad (or any ad), ask yourself: what are the emotional signals the seller is trying to get me to buy into? What specific emotions are being triggered (the most powerful are FEAR, LUST, and PRIDE). If an “expert” is brought forth, ask yourself: is the “expert” really “objective?”

The most obvious use of an “objective expert” in recent memory is General Petraeus. Observe also the emotional appeal of his chestful of medals.

Once you study how these techniques work, you will be immune. But probably ninety percent of the American people are total suckers for the techniques.

Depressing, isn’t it?

Report this

By Donovan, December 18, 2007 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“ celebrate the birth of Christ…”  Doesn’t this asshole know that Christ wasn’t born on Christmas?  He’s like every other person of faith: ignorant about his own religion.

Report this

By cyrena, December 17, 2007 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Well, I watched the clip. (I’m such an obedient blogger):)

And…gag, gag; heave ho…

Nice cheery red color for the cashmere sweater.

What are we supposed to be thinking about duing the long pause after the declaration that Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ? According to that story, they were in a manger for the delivery ‘cause they were homeless, and there was no room at the inn.

Report this

By 911truthdotorg, December 17, 2007 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

Huckleberry Hound is a very scary schmuck.

No wonder he doesn’t believe in evolution…
he’s an ignorant primate.

Report this

By Plutarch, December 17, 2007 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Funny how those religious symbols just sorta happen, what with bookshelves or like when the 9-11 Memorial ended up with with a red crescent.

It is creepy that he is doing this, he cannot deny the intent it is so patently obvious.

Report this

By Streamliner, December 17, 2007 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let me get this straight.  Placing Christmas decorations in a Christmas greeting is manipulative?  Hmm…perhaps he should make sure to avoid the American flag if he issues a 4th of July greeting.  After all…we wouldn’t want any patriotic symbolism on a patriotic holiday…

Report this
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

Like Truthdig on Facebook