Good morning Austin:
It’s Election Day. The party runoffs. Go vote.
Right now I am sitting here watching Chuck Todd interviewing David Dewhurst on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown.
"How do you explain finishing second … (in the primary) with just 28 percent for a job you’ve held for a decade, and how do you explain losing to Ted Cruz?" Todd asked Dewhurst, who was phoning into the show.
"My opponent is no Ted Cruz," Dewhurst replied.
Also, two years ago he didn’t have the music video, David Dewhurst, Lt. Gov., You’ve gotta love.
In fact, he barely had it this time, his campaign only releasing the remarkable Web ad shortly before 8 p.m. last night, even though it’s apparently been in the can for something like nine months waiting, I suppose, for the right moment.
From the Texas Tribune’s John Reynolds: "The campaign, already known for producing some seriously quirky ads this cycle, goes the club mix route with its Election Day Eve web ad."
Quorum Report: "Lists his accomplishments to quite a funky beat.’
Well yes, all that and much, much more in the space of a one-minute video.
It’s an eclectic mix. It starts out looking like the opening of an atmospheric HBO series - maybe a little True Detective (True Dewtective?) - with a twang of guitar strings, and images of oil derricks, a bridge across a river/bayou, GPS showing we’re traveling south on 121, and a simple country church. But then we’re plunged into split screen/multiscreen images, a la Steven Soderbergh, the first including an obvious homage to the classic opening of Saturday Night Fever, focused on David "Stayin’ Alive" Dewhurst’s feet, striding forward to the pulsing beat, as what I will call the Dew Tones, sing his praises. And yes, in one of those Dewhurst snippets, the lieutenant governor is roping a man. It’s his Austin field representative Chris Doughty and the Dew was merely showing off his Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame roping skills.
See for yourself.
I know, with all that is going on here, I didn’t get all the lyrics the first time around - though "Obamanation" stuck in my head. But the lyrics are deceptively simple. Here they are:
David Dewhurst, Lt. Gov., You’ve gotta love.
Saving babies, protecting ladies. The most pro-life candidate.
Bad legislation, Obamanation won’t come to the great state of Texas.
Break it down.
The ad then displays one after another of his accomplishments, each added to what sounds like the zap of a laser sword. Here they are:
Cut Taxes 54 Times
Voter ID Legislation
Banned Abortion After 20 Weeks
Drug Testing For Unemployment Benefits
1,615,700 New Private Sector Jobs
Balanced The Texas Budget Six Times
Fought Obamacare Expansion
Passed A "Women’s Right To Know Act"
Increased Border Security Funding
Passed Jessica’s Law
Passed Abortion Sonogram Law
Expanded Charter Schools
Rainy Day Fund Growth Of 800 Percent
Improved State And Local Tax Burden
Passed A "National Example" Of Tort Reform
So, what do you think? Here is a sampling of Twitter reaction. As you will see, like any avant-garde work of art, not everyone gets it.
Jennifer Knesek 7h
David Dewhurst: Lt. Gov. You’ve Gotta Love The DEW kills it!!! So badass!
Matt Goodman 10h
David Dewhurst, funk peddler:
Catarina Cron 10h
It’s like Daft Punk meets the Bee Gees
Jake Roeschley 10h
Jesus, is this real?
Harold Cook 7h
Dewhurst close-out ad = somebody desperate to maintain relevance in a GOP ecosystem gone nuts. Understandable but ineffective
Erick Erickson 7m
So…ummm…I take it Dewhurst knows he’s lost. Right? Wow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=50c0c-KIbR8&app=desktop …
Pete Kaliner 2m
Worst political ad. Ever.
Cary Cheshire 5m
Rick Klein 1m
my 9 am fear is that the David Dewhurst song will be stuck in my head all day.
The point here is that, if some may fault Dewhurst for sometimes being a play-it-safe politician, his campaign videos have been unafraid to push the envelope in every direction.
For example, the Texas Oberver’s Christopher Hooks did an excellent piece (The Existential Horror of David Dewhurst’s New Ad Blitz), after this video, Shocked, made its breakthrough appearance.
As Hooks writes:
Some campaign ads feature actors posing as real people, but the Dewhurst woman isn’t really pretending to be a real person—the ad doesn’t even offer her name. She’s clearly an actress playing a character. A character which is breaking the fourth wall and appears to have gained sentience and an awareness of life outside her attack ads. It’s incredibly odd—it’s unusual, to say the least, for a campaign to create characters that experience a continuity of existence from attack ad to attack ad.
Questions abound. Is she trapped in there? What is the internal life of this character like? Why does she hate Patrick so much? Why does she suffer from such dramatic mood swings? Why are the different rooms of her house decorated so differently? Why does she think Patrick is attacking her, and not the candidate she’s flacking for?
Is she lonely? A careful analysis of the two picture frames on her shelf—the only evidence of life, other than the woman herself, in this nightmare universe of Dewhurst attack ads—shows what might be a cat or dog, licking itself, or sleeping. The other frame is too blurry to make out. Is that the grim visage of a skull in the top half, draped in red? Is it a clue to the Dewhurst woman’s origins?
Much like TV’s Lost, I have a feeling that the questions raised won’t be given satisfactory treatment by the series finale, the May 27 runoff. But I hope we see the Dewhurst woman again. Maybe she’ll get a spin-off. Maybe she can get work displaying the emotions of shock and disgust for Sid Miller’s campaign.
Nothing of course can top, The Ballad of Dannie Goeb, which I think will be remembered long after the particulars of this campaign are forgotten.
Less well known, however, is Grace, a seriously powerful Web ad, which recorded the scene at Houston’s Grace Community Church on Mother’s Day when Judah Edwards, born April 1, was placed by his mother, Tia Edwards, into Dewhurst’s arms, in tearful thanks for his work in passing the law that prohibited abortions after twenty weeks.
As Pastor Steve Riggle says in the video: "This little baby right here came up for adoption. The little girl who was pregnant who didn’t know who the dad was, went down to get an abortion and she couldn’t get an abortion because this little baby had just turned 20 weeks old. So, the next time somebody says to you this is about politics, I want you to remember. I want this to be etched in your mind. This is what it’s about, right here."
According to Kevin Edwards - Judah’s dad - Tia and he learned that Judah was available the day he was born, the same day that they learned that the birth mother of a baby they were in the process of adopting was reclaiming the infant. Because they were already approved for adoption, they were able to take Judah home from the hospital.
Meanwhile, rival Dan Patrick closed out his campaign not with a song, but a prayer, or perhaps more precisely, a Facebook post on the power of prayer.
A PERSONAL CLOSING MESSAGE By Dan Patrick
Please share this post and e-mail to your friends as well. It’s now time for the final and biggest push.
I entered the race for Lt Governor on June 27th, 2013. Tomorrow, exactly 11 months to the day, we will elect our Republican nominee for Lt Governor to represent us in November against the Democrats. I ran because I believed we needed a change in leadership. I knew the race would not be an easy one.
I knew I needed to raise about 6 million dollars and the work that would take. I knew I would need to travel the state many times over to meet voters and share why I believed I was the best candidate for the office. And I knew if the final match-up was between David Dewhurst and myself, which I believed it would be, I would likely be under relentless attacks and character assassinations based on his last campaign.
I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to be sitting in my rocking chair one day, in my 80s, looking back when I
was in my early 60s, as a Senator who could help shape the future of Texas for our shared conservative vision, and regret that I didn’t have the courage to run.
From the beginning the hand of God has been clearly in my race. God has guided, provided, and protected. I had faith I would be able to raise the money because where God guides He provides. I did raise the $6 million which was rather remarkable. We out raised Dewhurst. A significant portion of my money came from Conservative Christians who either had never been heavily involved in politics in a financially, or gave to me because of our shared vision for Texas. Thousands of people gave to our campaign including many of you on line.
A stranger gave me a cross to carry in my wallet very early in the campaign. I placed it behind my license and see it every time I open it. Another man gave me a unique lapel in with an American flag and a cross. I wear it always.
Another man told me about setting his phone alarm to 3:33 pm each day. The time was selected based on Jeremiah 33:3 known by some as God’s cell number verse. It reads: Call to me and I will answer you and tell you the great and unsearchable things you do not know. I put it on my phone and everyday at 3:33 my alarm goes off and I remember He is with me. It’s a great oasis of peace in the middle of each day. I posted the story on FB last fall and 46,000 of my followers said they were going to do the same. If you haven’t go ahead and set your alarm. It will provide you comfort each day as well and serve as a reminder who is in charge.
All across this state I’ve met fellow believers who have prayed with Jan and me in their presence or who pray for us each day. And each day, every day, someone comes to me with wise council or encouragement that I know has come from God. This cloak of God’s love and guidance has kept me relatively stress free in what some would say should have been a very stressful period for me. As an old song says, "I’m too blessed to be stressed."
Over the past 5 weeks the attacks have been some of the nastiest and most personal many political observers have ever seen. Once again I’ve kept scripture close at hand. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prevail. I just keep moving forward. I also know that I’m commanded to forgive my attackers and pray for them. Scripture says forgive them for they know not what they do. I told my staff early that I would not use personal attacks in my campaign. I wanted to focus on issues. I’m proud that our campaign has not personally attacked the Lt Governor. I have no interest in his life of 25 to 40 years ago. I have pointed out the differences in our positions on key issues and leadership, but no personal attacks. I have said in every debate that I appreciated his public service but after 12 years, and especially last session, I felt it was time for new and bold conservative leadership.
I wasn’t running against anyone, but rather for my conservative values and our uncompleted conservative agenda. We must secure our border, reduce property taxes, pass school choice, prioritize water and transportation funding on a pay as you go basis, reduce debt, and not to appoint half of the Democrat Senators as chairmen of committees.
Several people have asked me over the last few weeks if it’s been worth it and would I do it again. The answer is yes. The attacks have been tough on my family and me at times. However, the wonderful people I have met all across Texas, many who are now friends and who I didn’t know months ago, greatly outnumber by 20 fold the attacks by my opponent and some of his supporters. My new friends are folks who volunteer to attend meetings and events for me, work the polls, make calls, put out signs, hold fundraisers, give money, and provide every other service a statewide candidate needs.
The opportunity to run for state office has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I know Jan feels the same. The good times far outweigh the negatives. The people we have met along the trail will never be forgotten for their kindness, prayers, encouragement and support.
I want to thank the 7 Senators who have endorsed me and the 26 House Reps who have endorsed us. (My opponent doesn’t have one legislator in current office campaigning for him. I think that sends a strong message) I want to thank Governor Huckabee, Dr James Dobson. Ralph Reed, Pastor John Hagee, key Christian Conservative pastors and leaders across the state, countless precinct chairs, the true and real leaders of the Tea Party movement, and all of you on Facebook who send me encouragement every day.
I need your help tomorrow. If you have not voted yet I ask you to please be sure to go and vote tomorrow. Call your family and friends and ask them to vote as well if they have not.
If you have already voted for me thank you very much. I would ask that you also call or e-mail family members and friends and make sure they are go vote for me tomorrow as well. The turn-out will be small and every vote really matters. Please visit http://www.danpatrick.org/ to find out where to vote and to encourage friends & family to do the same. Together all of us have done the work. The final victory is in God’s hands.
Timothy 4:7 I have finished the race. I have fought the good fight. I have kept the faith.