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March 3, 2015

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Campaign ad may boost Amodei but alienate the Chinese

Amodei campaign ad

Mark Amodei

Mark Amodei

Former state Sen. Mark Amodei’s opening campaign ad appears to have achieved its mission.

The formula: Early campaign timing, plus tiny airtime buy, plus inflammatory images of Chinese troops marching in front of the U.S. Capitol equals huge “earned media” coverage.

“The question always is how do you sucker the news media into giving you coverage that you wouldn’t otherwise get,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a political communications expert at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. “And this is how you do it.”

Amodei’s debut ad in the special election for the 2nd Congressional District features a Chinese newscaster — with heavy accent — narrating imagined world dominance by “our great empire” grown wealthy off American debt.

The ad has grabbed national media attention — not all of it flattering.

“Nevada idiot will stop Chinese army from conquering America,” blared a headline on the media blog Gawker.

Liberal news sites slammed the ad as racist and misguided — China owns just 9.5 percent of U.S. debt, one liberal commentator noted.

(Although it may be a small share, it’s growing and no other single foreign nation approaches China’s share of American debt.)

As Amodei moves into aggressive fundraising mode as the nominee chosen by the Nevada Republican Party last week, the notoriety could bring him needed money.

Indeed, the ad echoes a common refrain at Republican gatherings — that Americans could soon be speaking Chinese if the United States doesn’t address the debt problem.

Amodei’s message on the upcoming decision on the debt ceiling is unequivocal.

“I’ll never vote to raise Obama’s debt limit and risk our independence,” he says in the ad.

Although Amodei uses hyperbole to drive home his opposition to raising the debt ceiling, the ad could have economic repercussions for a state still suffering through the recession.

“There are always the unintended consequences of these things that political consultants don’t anticipate,” Jamieson said. “Locally the ad may be persuasive to most voters and they will write off the part of the population who may find it offensive. But in a viral world these things can be transported instantaneously to a market that might be feeding you tourists.”

That concern is real, said Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who has spent considerable energy developing Nevada’s Chinese tourism market.

Krolicki described the relationship with China as important and delicate. He noted the value of Nevada’s exports to China has grown to $456 million from $13.6 million in the past decade.

“Certainly it raised an eyebrow,” Krolicki said of the ad. “But I take it as a flare glaring over Washington, D.C., and its policies and deficits and not a negative to our Chinese partners.”

One economic development official, who didn’t want to publicly criticize Amodei, said he has been contacted by Chinese consulate officials who were irritated by the ad.

“I think they feel like ‘why do you even have to use us in some kind of pejorative way to make a message,’” the official said. “This ad makes you have to go through the calculation of ‘are we being racist or beating up on the horrible financial decisions made in Washington D.C.?’

“The fact is China is a very important trade partner for Nevada and this stuff isn’t helpful.”

Amodei denied his ad will have any effect on Nevada’s trade relations with China.

“Yes, it’s meant to get attention, but there is absolutely nothing in there that criticizes the Chinese trade policies, that criticizes them for buying the debt,” Amodei said. “They hold well over $1 trillion of it and if you think that’s a good thing, then you know what? I’m not your guy.”

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  1. Amodei says nothing about the $7 trillion national debt that Bush left after the Iraq war. Amodei says nothing about $4 trillion war on MasterCard from George Bush, now he is worried about the debt?

    Blame it on the Chinese!!! They are the bad ones!! Not the Republicans who borrowed the money in the first place.

    Amodei's next air time blurb should show Mexicans pushing Burrito carts in front of the Capital with the headline: "Illegal Immigrants Taking American Jobs". Another Jackass whose solutions are just insults designed at the NPRI.

  2. Las Vegas's prime export, Strippers and whacked out politicking.

    Amodei must have had dinner with Sharon recently and she gave him a few ideas.

    Sometimes it scares me to call this place my home.


  3. This guy is just another snake in the grass. He is willing to do anything to advance himself, in his mind. The Republicants only tactic is to blame some one else for their mistakes. They refuses to acknowledge the failed policies of the Bushes (G H W and G W) administrations. I am sure that they would like it if the public forgot about this. The reason the country is in the sad shape it is at this time, is because Republicants have gave some many tax cuts to the wealthy in the form of tax breaks, and loopholes. The aspect that worries me about this guy is that Nevada elected B.S. Governor. The courts saved Nevadans from that guy but who will save the country if this guy gets to Washington, God forbid.

  4. Hey, my take is this, if the Chinese do take over, at least our kids will get a good education. I will want to be here then as well, when the unions try to organize China. Wonder what a welfare check looks like in China, especially when you can only have one child. "Push 3 for English"..

    I know, if Obama needs a good ad, scaring the hell out of old people and kids, he will do it under the guise of AARP and SEIU. You gotta love this country,and Jonathan, don't be scared, pack.

  5. Ammo-Day, it's time for all you Northern Nevadans to head for your bunkers in Idaho!!! What a moron; couldn't you fit in a mushroom cloud while you were at it?

  6. Mr. Amodei just put a check mark next to one of the required Republican Party requirements in order to run for office.

    Get out there. Don't matter how you do it. JUST GET OUT THERE!

    And a Republican Party technique is throw rhetoric out there. Don't have to be true. Just have to incite the uninformed masses that run more on news fabricated more on Fox, not Facts. And if you can do it in such a way as to attack every single Democrat, liberal and President Obama at the same time, then that's even better.

    Good job, Mr. Amodei. You did it. You threw yourself out there and people have taken notice. You have successfully entered the ranks of the run-of-the-mill Republican whacknuts that seem to infest the planet nowadays.

    Not sure if it's gonna get you elected though.

    Because all that is seen so far is empty tough talk, but no substance...and certainly no clue how to serve your constituents...only serve Speaker Boehner.

    Anyways, you did it, Mr. Amodei. You're on record. Joining the illustrious ranks started by Sharron Angle....

  7. What a freakin' moron...

    And a racist, xenophobic, piggy-looking chap.
    Amodei came out of the TeaNut mold JUST PERFECT!!!
    Be sure to bake him @375 degrees for 45 minutes, though...
    you'll want to kill off all that nasty bacteria.

    Congratulations, Republicans!
    You've cooked up ANOTHER "winner".

  8. So Amodei's peddling fear, xenophobia and a pledge to send the world economy into shambles?

    Where's the substance? Where's the policy agenda?

    This is the best they've got to offer?

  9. John McCain is busy blaming the fires in Arizona on the illegals (Mexicans) in Arizona. They must have sat in the same sauna - and both became overcooked.

  10. Ain't free speech a good thang!

    "The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker's opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection. For it is a central tenet of the First Amendment that the government must remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas." -- HUSTLER MAGAZINE AND LARRY C. FLYNT v. JERRY FALWELL, 485 U.S. 46, 55-6 (1988)

  11. I would argue that Mr. Amodei's promise to "NOT' vote to raise the debt ceiling is uninformed and the absolute wrong thing to do. Not only that, it would be the most likely cause for the gloom and doom he depicts in his partisan advertisement.

    A reserve currency, or anchor currency, is a currency that is held in significant quantities by many governments and institutions as part of their foreign exchange reserves. It also tends to be the international pricing currency for products traded on a global market, and commodities such as oil, gold, etc. Today, the US dollar serves as the anchor of that system, with the US government guaranteeing other central banks.

    If the GOP votes in locked-step NOT to raise the debt ceiling, and in favor of defaulting on our debt, we could potentially take other nations right down that rabbit whole with us. I hate the fact that Congress has continually raised the debt ceiling to pay for their every whim, but not raising it this time could be the actual trigger for the gloom and doom Mr. Amodei portrays in his advertisement.
    Read my full post on NVRuralDems blog:

  12. After reading Mr. Amodei's web site and watching his You-tube videos he does not warrant any more of my time or interest.

    He has a lot to say about what is wrong, pointing out the obvious but no detailed plans on how to fix them.

    Seems his plan it to "Just say No" to everything but no idea on how to fix anything.

    I would think Nevada would have better people to run for office but after seeing how the public treats their elected officials I can understand why no one with any sense would want to run for office.

    Something the public forgets, you get what you deserve and ask for. ;-)

  13. Exactly, vegaslee.

    I just hope the constituents in CD2 see that.

    One thing for sure is that we'll find out if he suckers people into his whacknut viewpoints.

    Not sure if anyone sees this, but I can see EXACTLY why Mr. Amodei came out with such a drastic TV ad.

    He figures that the trend in CD2 is it's an overwhelmingly Republican Party leaning district. I notice that he figures he can go off the scale far to the extreme right in order to play to the base of people there to get them riled up and get their votes.

    I just hope the people see through the over-the-top propaganda that is pretty much the same consistency of what comes out of the southbound end of a northbound Nevada desert mule.

    It may just turn out he turned the corner too hard and too fast and may lose voters.

    We'll see.....