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Reviews are Not Kind to "Big John" Cornyn's Corny Ad

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman

Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 03:23 AM CDT

John Cornyn was right in saying that maybe he needed a new staff because his ridiculous convention video is turning out to be a real bomb of hilarity- and not in a good way.

Consider the following...and note that Cornyn has the same speaking mannerisms as the oh-so-unpopular George Bush. The head bobbing, the licking of the lips, the half grin. It's hard to watch.

Evan Smith, Texas Monthly.

He Puts the "Corny" in Cornyn

If not for tort reform, John Cornyn could sue the makers of this video shown at the state Republican convention for - what? Malpractice? Wrongful death of his image? The deliberate infliction of pain and suffering on the voters of Texas? Or maybe he could sue his own campaign staff. Because this is just cow-pie-awful.

Robert Garrett, Dallas Morning News

A Reeking Video

Words don't do justice to this campy, over-the-top, 2 1/2 minute video. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's campaign cooked it up to introduce him to the Republican faithful at their state convention in Houston.

Could it possibly reek more of malt, hops -- even sour mash? Surely a good deal was drunk at the brainstorming session that produced it -- not least by Cornyn, described by a deep-voiced narrator as a manly man "who can shoot straight and talk straight and enjoy a good brew."

Cornyn media consultants at Strategic Perception in Los Angeles took images of him on horseback at the Houston rodeo parade and a similar event in Brownsville. Then, through the miracle of film editing, they created Senator Cowboy! You may have thought of Cornyn as a paper-pushing lawyer, judge, attorney general and now lawmaker. Behold the leather-skinned tamer of the wild frontier!

But wait, some 25 seconds into the video, what's that we see, in the close up of his hands holding the reins? Could those be ... paper cuts?

Jason Linkins, Huffington Post

Intended as an introduction to the Republican Party of Texas state convention, the video, featuring awesomely overwrought voice overs and the most stoned gospel chorus ever assembled, basically depicts Cornyn as a dull-witted rodeo clown who never descends from his horse or stops dressing like Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy.

Miya Shay, KTRK Houston

It's well... entertaining... One is "Big John" the other is more like "Colonel."  

Eileen Smith, In the Pink Texas

If you don't want to spend the rest of your evening envisioning John Cornyn in his own personal "Brokeback Mountain," you may want to skip this video, shown at the state Republican convention. I semi-watched it while covering my eyes and shrieking in horror...

Jim Newell, Wonkette

'Big John' Cornyn Creates Comical 'Western' Montage Of Self

Steve Wichard, Texas Kaos

John Cornyn showed this video at the Texas Republican Convention and showed just how out of touch he is with Texas.  He talks about opening government to the people.  Yes, we saw as the Republican party gave more tax breaks to big business and screwed the American public but he was all for it.  He rooted out crooks?  What ones?  Haliburton and their no bid contracts?  Maybe the Republican legislators or senators who ignored please about the abuse at the Veterans Hospitals? I don't think so.

Martha Griffin, Muse Musings

It would have been a lot more accurate, though just as ridiculous to have him portrayed as a puppy, jumping up on Bush's lap to represent his lapdog purpose in life. Maybe to the tune of "How Much is that Doggie in the Window". Woof!

Elizabeth, Austinist

Only in about 15 seconds of the video is Cornyn shown without a cowboy hat, while a man with a deep bass voice tells us that John "is doing the Lord's work for Texas" (oh, God was against the updated GI Bill?) and a choir keeps singing in the background, "Big Johhhhhn."

North Texas Liberal

Maybe someone forgot to remind Cornyn's staff that in the Jimmy Dean version of the song, John was buried in the bottom of a worthless pit. It seems an apt metaphor for someone who will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history.

The Old Eighteen

John Cornyn gets to dress up like a cowboy, and ride a horsey and everything!  Imagine John Lithgow as the cowboy character from the Village People, and you'll have some idea of what Senator Box Turtle looks like here.  Note to Cornyn: stay away from the fringed suede.

Ridiculous. Support Rick Noriega.


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Good (3.00 / 3)
I'm glad everyone is recognizing the crap that this was...

If everyone can donate some time or money to Noriega's campaign, it'll be close and competitive come October -- I feel like that's our goal. Keep it within a close striking distance until October, then see some national dollars come in and really ride the wave to a win!

Now, a very great man once said that some people rob you with a fountain pen.

What number is needed? (0.00 / 0)
  Phillip, from a Harvard perspective, how close does the Noriega fundraising have to be?  Can you put a dollar threshold on how much Noriega has to raise to bring in those "national dollars"?

 He had $330K at the end of March.  Cornyn was at $8.7 million and has averaged nearly $2 million a quarter for the last five quarters.  Noriega's stated goal is $10 million.

 So we have another quarter ending in about two weeks.  How much does Noriega have to report as having been raised in the second quarter to be seen as competitive...$2.5 or $3 million?  Or would $2 million be considered an adequate showing?

 I'm interested in your expert opinion.  At some point, a campaign has to abandon the ever-elusive hope for dollars later, and substitute some hard numbers of money actually raised. Otherwise, BOR readers might want to send their spare cash to a candidate who actually has a chance to win.  

[ Parent ]
depends (3.00 / 1)
if Cornyn's staff keeps sending money to Los Angeles to churn out winners like this ad, then Noriega can probably sit back and quit fundraising.

[ Parent ]
jeez louise (0.00 / 0)
Noriega needs $3.5-$5m...$7m would win the thing.

Right or wrong, Noriega has just begun to get in campaign shape. there were numerous fits and starts and it seems like they've got a plan in place and are beginning to enact it.

The most important factor Noriega has in his favor is that Cornyn and/or his people couldn't find his butt with both hands.  

This video is yet another example that Cornyn is too dim to understand what is happening to him and the folks around him have their heads so far up his ass that they actually thought that video was good and would be helpful.

On top of everything, the spot is in violation of FEC rules which clearly state that the candidate must appear either at the beginning or the end of a spot and say the phrase "I'm (name) and I approved this message".

Hope no one from the BOR community slips and files a complaint.

Please refer to KT's signature.

[ Parent ]
Colin, You Claim to be a Pro (0.00 / 0)
  So how can you make a mistake as obvious as this one?

 The Cornyn video was an introduction played before he spoke at the GOP convention.  It is not a campaign ad, subject to FEC rules.  I know K-T called it an "ad," but you should know you can't believe everything you read on BOR.  It was not intended as an ad and was not sent out over the airwaves or cable or satellite.  So no disclaimer is required.  I also hope nobody from the BOR community files a complaint.  It would be embarassing for them.

 So Noriega needs $3.5 to $5.0 million this quarter?  That would appear to be a tall order.  Last October, you ridiculed his fundraising ability, but maybe you've got a higher opinion now.

 (colin:  In the past, when I've corrected your errors, you have used your BOR insider status to disappear my comments.  I hope it doesn't happen again this time.)  

[ Parent ]
okay, buck (0.00 / 0)
According to the FEC:
Any public communication made by a political
committee, even those that do not contain
a solicitation or express advocacy, must include a disclaimer. 110.11(a).

If this wasn't political advertising, why the disclaimer at the end of the spot??? Because it is public communications and political advocacy asking people to support cornyn.

I'll bet you a $250 contribution to the BlogPAC that an FEC complaint would garner a rebuke if not a fine from the FEC.

I'm sure your vast experience dealing with the FEC's General Counsel and fending off FEC complaints is far more than mine, but I'll make the bet if you'll take the bet.

You are a repub and everyone here knows that your purpose is to hijack threads and distract.  If you read my posts so religiously you'll know that I've posted numerous times in an honest way about how I feel about Noriega's prospects. The worst part is that you know you are misrepresenting my current position by referencing something from 9 months ago. Nice.

I'll have to go check for a time when you've corrected my errors.  What I (and dozens of others) have done is appropriately rate your most ridiculous remarks (of which there have been many).

Since cornyn is so wonderful, why haven't you written a diary? Why have you repeatedly failed to contribute anything useful, meaningful or positve?

Running around pissing on campfires is, I'm sure, very fun for people like you...but it doesn't advance your cause or effort a single inch. It makes you seem petty and small.

Please refer to KT's signature.

[ Parent ]
colin, you have a bet! (0.00 / 0)
  But please, when I win, I cannot possibly give the $250 to BlogPAC.  You're on if your money goes to Vets for Freedom.

  You are extremely clever to have figured out that I am a Republican.  How in the world did you guess that?  I don't post diaries because, frankly, they would be rapidly taken down.  I realize this is a Dem site, and my participation here is barely tolerated.  I have been threatened with explusion.  So I restrict myself to asking a few questions and straightening out clear factual errors -- such as the egregious one you made here.

  Rather than blindly calling the Cornyn video a political communication subject to disclaimer rules, why not dig a bit deeper and find out how "political communication" is defined?  Here it is, courtesy of the FEC.  In case you haven't heard, the Internet is generally excluded from the definition (whether it should be is another story) except for paid ads on somebody else's site.  Now tell me, colin, under which definition does the Cornyn convention video fall?  I eagerly await your response, and Vets for Freedom awaits your $250.

As defined in FEC regulations, the term "public communication" includes:

   * Broadcast, cable or satellite transmission;
   * Newspaper;
   * Magazine;      
   * Outdoor advertising facility (e.g., billboard);
   * Mass mailing (defined as more than 500 pieces of mail matter of an identical or substantially similar nature within any 30-day period);
   * Telephone banks (defined as more than 500 telephone calls of an identical or substantially similar nature within any 30-day period); or
   * Any other general public political advertising. General public political advertising does not include Internet ads, except for communications placed for a fee on another person's web site

11 CFR 110.11(a).


[ Parent ]
you don't know what you're talking about (0.00 / 0)
Cornyn's own campaign considered it "political advertising". (Note the DISCLAIMER at the end of the spot.)

If it wasn't "political advertising", why would they put a disclaimer?

Per the FEC:

In addition to the requirements noted under "Wording of Disclaimer Notice" above, radio and television communications that are authorized or paid for by a campaign require additional language. For such radio and television ads, the candidate must deliver an audio statement identifying himself or herself and stating that he or she has approved of the communication. 4 For example: "I am [candidate's name], a candidate for [federal office sought], and I approved this advertisement."
In a television ad, the disclaimer must be conveyed by:
A full-screen view of the candi•
date making the statement; or
A voiceover with an image of the can•
didate occupying no less than 80% of the vertical screen height.

Furthermore, since you choose to cloak your identity and experience from which you speak so confidently, I'll tell you mine.

I have met face-to-face with the General Counsel of the FEC and can assure you that the above list is "not intended to be an exclusive list".

cornyn's really bad, really stupid spot was intended to promote cornyn as a candidate, solicit support and encourage voters to vote for him. it was shown in a public venue attended by thousands and made available via the intranets.

Since you are so confident nothing will come of it, you file the complaint and we'll see what happens.

My bet stands.

Please refer to KT's signature.

[ Parent ]
Jesus (0.00 / 0)
[expletive deleted] would someone file a complaint already so we can get this feud over with?

[ Parent ]
Let's Get It On (0.00 / 0)
  I freely acknowledge I haven't had the experience you claim re: getting in trouble with the FEC.  But I do know how to read English.  You have put relevent rules in a yellow box -- thank you -- and they make my case precisely.  Notice the waiver you believe necessary is required only for "radio and television ads."  That's not the case here. This was a convention video that apparently migrated to the campaign website, which is specifically excluded from the waiver requirement.

 Now you want ME to file the complaint against Cornyn?  That doesn't seem very logical.  Since you are so familiar with FEC personnel, complete with face-to-face meetings and all, I would think you'd want to do the honors.  What if my complaint isn't as professional as, say, you would write?  But I want Vets for Freedom to have your $250, so I'll see what I can do.

 Anybody else want to put up a few dollars on colin's side of this controversy?  Triangulation?  Bueller?  Anyone?

[ Parent ]
I Can't Quit You Box Turtle! (3.00 / 1)
Someone needs to splice that in the middle of the video.

that's "Caint" (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Is that Bob Cole's voice? (0.00 / 0)
That sure sounds like the KVET morning DJ.  

conservative blogs? (0.00 / 0)
what are the conservative blogs or "bloggers for cornyn" saying about this video?

There's only one... (0.00 / 0)
...reference to it that I can find, and it's more about us than the video itself.

"I wonder now what Ernest Hemingway's dictionary looked like, since he got along so well with dinky words that everybody can spell and truly understand." -- Kurt Vonnegut

[ Parent ]
Here are some comments I found (0.00 / 0)





Apologies for sticking in a left-wing blog.  It appears they either like it, or don't like its critics.

[ Parent ]
They're probably trying hard to ignore it (0.00 / 0)
in hopes that it will go away.

- 7.12, - 7.54 / Attack of the Machine Elves / My Twitter feed

[ Parent ]
Reminds me of a Will Ferrell SNL skit... (0.00 / 0)

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