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Friday, June 17, 2016

Ad war begins 

by digby

I'm seeing this ad a couple of times an hour in California. I'm not sure it makes much sense but this Trump Super Pac seems to have a ton of money so maybe they're just blanketing the country with it for ... reasons:

The 30-second, entitled "More of the Same," intersperses clips of Hillary Clinton denying any improper activity on her private email server with clips of Bill Clinton denying any sexual activity with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The clips are edited in a way that blurs the line between the two distinct controversies. The message is clear: that Bill and Hillary Clinton are two politicians cut from the same cloth who use the same language to evade accountability. The ad comes from the super PAC Rebuilding America Now, which has raised $32 million so far from Trump supporters, founder Tom Barrack told CNN last week.
It appears to be an Alex Castellanos special :
Tom Barrack, a real estate investor and longtime friend of Trump’s, has assisted the PAC with fundraising, though he told CNN that he would have no formal role with the group. Barrack is also “close personal friends” with Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist, Paul Manafort, according to a bio provided to the Associated Press by Barrack’s publicist. Barrack recently hosted a large fundraiser for the candidate. 
According to CNN, Barrack said that the “principal operatives” running the group will be Laurance Gay, an ally of Manafort, who will serve as managing director, and Ken McKay, a senior advisor to the Trump campaign and Chris Christie’s former campaign manager. 
Ryan Call, Rebuilding America Now’s treasurer, is an attorney at Hale Westfall, LLP. He served as Colorado Republican State Chairman from 2011 to 2015. 
Christopher Marston is listed as Rebuilding America Now’s Custodian of Records in its FEC filing. A veteran Republican campaign operative and founder of the campaign finance and compliance firm Election CFO, he is listed as the treasurer on record, for about 60 campaign committees, political action committees and other groups since 2012, including almost 40 that are active in the 2016 cycle. As we noted in April, included among these was the anti-Trump PAC Make America Awesome. 
Former Romney advisor and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos will also work for the PAC.  
According to the New York Times, his role will be to “cut advertisements and work on strategy” for the PAC. His hiring is notable because he tried to organize an anti-Trump super PAC as recently as late 2015.
He's the perfect guy for the job. Recall this from 2008:
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin noted on the May 20 edition of CNN's The Situation Room that  "[t]here was a column in The New York Times not too long ago where it talked about some of the humor in the campaign, and the punch line was a line that was -- that Hillary Clinton was a 'white bitch.' " 
Moments later ... CNN political contributor Alex Castellanos interrupted, asserting, "And some women, by the way, are named that and it's accurate.
Castellanos is a big fan of subliminal advertising.  He's the guy who made the infamous "HANDS" and  "RATS" ads.  This ad would seem to be a sneaky way of getting people to think about Trump's accusations that Clinton was responsible for her husband's philandering.

Castellanos has said in the past that he found Trump's willingness to go there admirable:
Mr. Trump’s assault on the Clintons for their “War On Women,” for example, has elevated him into a general election-style battle matchup with Hillary Clinton. More importantly, Trump has again shown GOP voters he is the only Republican candidate with the fortitude to take on the Clintons at their own game and give as good as Republicans usually get.  For a Republican Party maddened at seeing an inbred Washington establishment rationalize decades of failure, reward itself for the same, and then wipe the floor with those who object, Trump is a righteous avenger — and he still has room to grow.
This should be fun ...