At 0:52 of the Obama campaign’s latest ad, in which youngsters-on-the-street incredulously read a statement from Mitt Romney about his Bain Capital days, I noticed a familiar landmark: the Majestic Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. Scrutinizing the footage of the other interviewees (it’s unclear whether the readers are laymen or campaign workers) I noticed the storefronts and sidewalks of State Street, a hotel off the Capitol square, and one interviewee’s Madison Area Technical College polo shirt.
This is all to say the Obama campaign is hardly bludgeoning viewers with Midwestern scenery in the same way as, say, Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl ad. The Obama ad conveniently avoids shots of the Wisconsin State Capitol, which has come to symbolize state Democrats’ viciously fought but ultimately failed effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. It’s easy to speculate this ad is the first of many to target young voters, many of whom turned out for Obama in record numbers in college towns like Madison. One thing’s a safe bet: If the Walker recall effort had been successful, Team Obama would be milking Dairy State iconography for all it’s worth. More soon.