It’s somewhat difficult to take the Libertarian Party seriously, and to be charitable Gary Johnson, the former Republican New Mexico governor heading up its ticket, has been less than impressive in the media interviews he’s done of late.
That said, this web video Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, have cut isn’t bad…
— Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) June 30, 2016
One obvious criticism is the length. Two minutes and 11 seconds is too long. This really needed to be cut down to one minute, because at one minute you can use it for TV.
The response to that criticism is obviously that the LP doesn’t have enough money to run TV ads, so cutting a :30 or :60 spot isn’t much of a requirement. But if you’re going to be a major political party you need to think like a major political party, and even PAC’s who cut great web ads tend to keep them to :30 or :60 because people who see them on the web and like the spot can be induced into donating money for the purpose of making a buy for it to run on the tube.
You can’t do that with a 2:11 video.
As for getting across the value proposition of the LP, it’s not bad. Having Weld say he’s pro-choice is questionable – it might have been more effective if Johnson had said he’s pro-life (he isn’t, though), because then the ticket could have straddled the issue and not specifically run off half the voters who care about abortion as an electoral issue. It’s effective to present the candidates as adults who know how to run things and who can handle the important functions of government while leaving the public alone; that’s a nice contrast to the two major candidates who don’t even seem to be trying to do that.
This is probably not enough to move many votes. But as a fledgling bit of presidential messaging for the LP ticket it’s decent.
How you get around the most fundamental problem of having Johnson-Weld as the name of your ticket, though, we’re not sure. Johnson-Weld sounds extremely painful. Maybe it’ll play with the BDSM crowd, or divorced women, but for everybody else it’s cringe-inducing.