On Friday, I reported that Marion Michael Rounds had posted a video for his U.S. Senate campaign consisting of himself delivering an over-polished, inauthentic pitch backed entirely by stock photographs of non-South Dakotans.
On Sunday, Roll Call caught the story and added that one of the photos was of a woman from (gasp!) France.
Shortly thereafter, Rounds challenger Larry Rhoden mistakenly said that Roll Call had revealed the embarrassing facts about the Rounds ad (come on, Larry! how about relying on South Dakota news sources?) and called on Rounds to pull the ad:
It’s disappointing that Mike Rounds’ first advertisement doesn’t use footage from South Dakota. We live in a great state and I’m very proud of this state and its people. I don’t know why Mike Rounds has decided to outsource his campaign’s photography to Paris of all places.... I call on Mike Rounds to pull the advertisement immediately because that’s what someone would do if they’re proud of our state and its people [Larry Rhoden, quoted by David Montgomery, "Rounds Under Fire for Stock Images in Ad," Political Smokeout, 2014.03.30].
There are two bits of remarkable news here:
- Larry Rhoden and I are on the same page. A conservative and a liberal agreeing? What could happen next?
- Rounds responded to Rhoden's charge by retreating. He pulled the glowing ad from YouTube yesterday.
Rhoden's charge shows the Rounds armor is thin. Challengers, keep telling your own stories, but if you can get Rounds to cave on an issue like this, you also need to expand your attacks and pound away at Rounds's inauthentic fiscal credentials and GOED/Benda/Bollen/EB-5.