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Earley 'Experience' Ad
Another in a series
evaluating political ads.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Election: Governor of Virginia, Mark L. Earley (R) vs. Mark R. Warner (D)
Buyer: Earley for Governor
Name: 'Experience'
Producer: Wayne Johnson
Length: 30 seconds
Coverage: Statewide

The ad opens with two of his children darting out of a house with a box in hand. The screen shifts to a scene of Earley flanked by Virginiašs two senators, John W. Warner (R) and George Allen (R). The scene switches back to the children, rifling through a toolbox, and then to a shot of Earley and Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R). Now the children are hammering, and it becomes clear that they are raising an American flag. The ad ends with a shot of Earley and both senators, followed by the children staring up at the flag they have raised.

Video: Courtesy Mark Earley for Governor

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Special Report

Leadership and experience. As attorney general, Mark Earley made the safety and security of our families and our schools his top priority. And as governor, hešll put that experience to work for us ... by continuing to improve education for all Virginians and by keeping our schools safe, because some jobs are just too important. Mark Earley, experienced leadership we know‹and trust.

This ad intertwines long-standing Earley positions with the events of the last two weeks. From the outset, he has sought to persuade voters that he is the seasoned leader who will continue Virginiašs prosperity.

The uncertainty and insecurity that have followed the attacks on the country give him an issue to attach to that stance.

The image of the children putting up the American flag also puts the new America into an old Earley context: that he is everyman.

Previously, that meant a guy with a mortgage who sent his children to public school. Now, that means someone rallying to the cause and putting up an American flag, just like everyone else.
Steven Ginsberg