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Rate Rutherford’s new video

Friday, Jan 10, 2014

* Sun-Times writes about Dan Rutherford’s new campaign video

The video, a prelude to what future ads might look like, stays upbeat and away from mud slinging in the four-way primary. It’s thin on issues but gives you a snapshot of the candidate’s homegrown background, including that his family ran a pizza place when he was younger.

Puff video? Of course. But outside of Bruce Rauner’s “Shake Up Springfield” ad campaign, this is the first peek we’ve had into what other candidates may have to offer up in the run-up to the March 18 primary.

Some of the conversations between Rutherford and business owners or factory workers are a bit awkward. But cut down to 30-second videos for ads with a voiceover, there’s potential.

He’s gonna need a lot more than intro spots. Just sayin…

* Watch and rate

Dan Rutherford for Governor of Illinois - Bio from Dan Rutherford on Vimeo.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Empty Chair - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:10 am:

    He’s reading off a script to his right in the first few seconds, the conversations are incredibly awkward, and the theme of “Well things are pretty good, but they could be better” doesn’t make me want to jump off my couch and vote for - or donate to, more importantly right now - Rutherford.

  2. - an innocent observer - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:11 am:

    Its very bland, didn’t have an organized flow, and I’m confused on the message. It is too long, intro videos should be more than 100 seconds. I rate it a C-, the production quality saves it. It’s Awks….

  3. - Mr. B.A. - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    Yet, if you heard him this morning he was professional and informed. I am so tired of the Rauner crap and ready to embrace Rutherford. A lot of my fellow teachers are ready to do the same…

  4. - Mr. B.A. - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:16 am:

    He was on WGN radio this morning.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    “B-, C+”


    Reminds me of WTTW, “Around Town”, where the Host walks in to a business and asks the stale question, “How are things?” and the “Guest” gives a canned answer, leading to a showing of the service of the business or the product.

    Case(s) in point?

    Asking the woman if she painted the signs.

    Asking the welder. Really, you are going to interrupt a welder to ask how are things?

    Even the stand up stump stuff on the outside deck seemed contrived, and stilted.

    Having an Ad does not mean it has to be presented as an Ad.

    I forgot about Steve Kim, so I guess that was a plus.

    Four plus minutes of stilted, set-up, is not going to cut it, even for an Intro piece.

    Finally, in four minutes, alot of lip service, not a single theme suiggestion TO bringing Illinois back. Who would be against bringin Illinois back, so , ok, now what?

    “B-, C+”. Tighten the message, less stilted.

  6. - walker - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    Solid introduction.

    Not sure his capabilities come through strong enough, but his likability certainly does.

    Also, no obvious faux “man-of-the-people” scripted lines, (e.g. cheap watch or old Ford).

  7. - chad - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    Rutherford is not a professional actor, and it is clear the people appearing in the video have not been rehearsed. So I agree that this is not 100% “prime time” quality. However, everyone appearing in it come off as genuine, which favorably contrasts with Rauner’s unavoidably phony media persona. Who will GOP voters favor — a “blow-hard billionaire” talking head spouting absolutist, know-it-all talk or someone who appears more in-tune with regular people? Better editing for the paid television versions can address the performance issues raised. It strikes me that this video is well-tuned for downstate — and visually draws on the tradition of those small town “morning in America” spots. Overall, I give it a B+, and look forward to seeing what he does that is more oriented to the suburbs and city.

  8. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    Sheer genius
    Remember he only needs to look like a fresh face once the public quickly determine D-lard and NoTaxBill are recycled has beens and FarmerBrucey is Wall Street hustler/fast talker who instills zero trust.

  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    I really like Dan, but he needs to identify a theme and then stick to it and hammer it home.

    There’s no theme here, except he’s a good guy. OK, but I got plenty of good guys to choose from here. I disagree that this video could be the source for TV ads. Ridiculous. Get a theme, man.

  10. - xbone analyst - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    I think the stale positivity really hits the conservative demographic thats most likely to vote for Rutherford though.

  11. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Great production value. Too long. The interactions with business owners are mostly cringe-worthy. When he speaks to the cameras, he comes across as solid and likeable. Overall, B-.

  12. - dave - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Who cares? About 200 total people in the state will watch this video.

    Rutherford defining himself won’t really matter much. Rutherford needs to be able to define Rauner. Someone better start doing that soon.

  13. - GetOverIt - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:46 am:


    Rutherford is comfortable in front of the camera; he is speaking to me, not at me; the overarching theme, i.e. jobs, is on point; and the use of middle class workers is spot on. He’s not telling us what he wants to do, he is showing us who he wants to impact (albeit he does indeed tell us what he wants to do).


    Keep the Lite Gov candidate out; voice over should be Rutherford, the other voice is distracting; a wee bit long.

  14. - Hans Sanity - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    It sounded like someone said “Jim Rutherford” at about 30 seconds in.

    And are some of Dan’s opponents against full employment?

    If candidates want to remain vague about their strategies and agendas if they get into office, they could at least try defining the “marketplace” and what it supposedly can or can not do.

    By the way, in spite of attempts to put Illinoisans on the defensive — as if other states are free from corruption — I haven’t met anyone ashamed to be from Illinois.

  15. - FrenchVanilla - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    In a word, lame.

  16. - skeptical spectacle - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    “Hi my name is Dan Rutherford, you probably won’t ever hear from me again, unless the public sector unions get so scared of Bruce Rauner they start giving me a bunch of money.”

  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    ===I haven’t met anyone ashamed to be from Illinois. ===

    I was in Miami when Rod appointed Burris to the US Senate. I stopped telling fellow tourists that I was from Illinois that day. I didn’t lie, I just avoided and/or changed the subject.

    So, yeah, it does happen.

  18. - the wonderboy - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Sheer genius? Oh no. No, no, no.

    Watch it again. As soon as the video stops, ask yourself “why should I vote for Rutherford?

    I still don’t have an answer…and I tried 3 times.

    As a side note, could no one straighten Kim’s glasses for his 8 seconds on camera? Watching with the sound off, all I see of potential one heartbeat away is the glasses. I know…I’m petty.

    The non-Bruce crew is trying to come up with a message. It seems to be jobs. This piece doesn’t give me any confidence at all that Rutherford has a clue or a plan to actually create those needed jobs.

    My grade: C-

  19. - Hans Sanity - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    You don’t seem thin skinned to me, Miller.

  20. - Conservative Republican - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    ==I was in Miami when Rod appointed Burris to the US Senate. I stopped telling fellow tourists that I was from Illinois that day. I didn’t lie, I just avoided and/or changed the subject.

    So, yeah, it does happen. ==

    Have had similar experiences, several times.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the fact that Obama came from here, thus bringing some additional national attention to the state’s politics, and the national attention to the Blago disaster. has elevated the negative perception of Illinois across the country.

    One comment, and I will repeat it again in this blog if the subject comes up again, as I assume it will– we Illinoisians have to stop making references to how many governors have gone to jail. Dan Walker was imprisoned for non-political financial wrongdoing committed long after he served as governor. But he’s lumped in with the other three.

  21. - Downstater - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Rutherford is underwhelming and underperforming in his bid for the nomination.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    ===“Hi my name is Dan Rutherford, you probably won’t ever hear from me again, unless the public sector unions get so scared of Bruce Rauner they start giving me a bunch of money.”===

    The Unions are going to use one of the 2 PACs, that is the “angle”, and if someone benefits of the feeding of the Rauner tear down, then they do.

    To the Post,

    A lack of a theme is what is holding the message back here. The four minutes has nothing to hang its hat on, exect we want to bring Illinois back.

    How? One theme to that statement would tie a nice bow here, but the open-ended lack of theme is glaring, and the comments here have picked up on that.

    Intros can intro themes, (1 theme!) and marry that to the Candidate from jump street. None of that is here, so it rings hollow in message/theme, and that is really where this video is lacking.

  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    My only thought when watching this video: “Do I really see this being the face and my Governor of Illinois?”

    No. Seems like the guy I see at my local barbershop.

  24. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    I guess every candidate has to have one of these for their websites. I doubt if it will break any traffic records or change minds.

    It will be interesting to see if he continues in a positive tone. It’s refreshing, actually, especially since the race has been dominated up to now by Farmer Bruce, the billionaire victim who sees enemies everywhere.

    If he puts some meat on the message, it would be interesting to see if positive sells.

  25. - downstate hack - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    I agree with you Rich. If he doesn’t get a theme or message he’s not going anywhere. The video does nothing for me. Poor quality and no message.

  26. - Bocephus - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    I want to support Dan so bad in this primary. I supported Brady the last three times and he just can’t get it done especially with his recent vote for pension reform. I think Dan is a good, honest man. But I agree with Rich, he needs a theme and has to take a chance. The ultra conservative approach will lead to a third place finish at best. I’d love to see Dan run on an education platform and overhaul K-12 education. He doesn’t even have an education plan on his website. If Dan’s people are reading this site, please think outside the box and take a bold chance. Illinois needs some non-traditional ideas and wave good bye to the status quo.

  27. - 10th ward - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    about the 2:01 mark, Lt Gov candidate Kim speaks, his glasses are tilted and not fitting his face? Looks bad. Didn’t anyone edit that piece?
    Plus all this talk about jobs but NOT one morsel of detail!! HOW Dan? How will you bring jobs to IL?

  28. - Drallid - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 11:28 am:


    After 25 years in Springfield, Rutherford is the only guy who can change it? Please. This ad might have worked in the 50’s, but not today.

  29. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Rutherford comes across as genuine and likeable.

    The settings are obviously all in Illinois. The focus, what there is of it, was on small business.

    Production value decent.

    Kim’s tilted glasses don’t bother me; comes across as real. Every administration needs a few policy wonks somewhere; if he can play that role, fine.

    I know everyone needs one of these intros, but it was way too long.

    Overall, B-/C+

    The first 19 - 20 seconds would make an effective A+ TV ad.

    With a lot of editing to make the focus exclusively on jobs, maybe it could be a longer TV ad.

  30. - Han Sanity - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    Given the picnics and sunshine, how long ago was that “ad” produced?

  31. - 4 percent - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    I like Dan but he’s been planning this run for years and this is the best kickoff video that he could do? Doesn’t give me much confidence.

  32. - Empty Suit - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    Looks more like he’s running for a local government race as opposed to statewide. Kind of a yawner.

  33. - Amalia - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    average. did not learn anything about him. just saw a bunch of happy folks vids.

  34. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    =No. Seems like the guy I see at my local barbershop.=

    Well there’s an interesting perspective. So much for Mayberry, I suppose.

    I watched the video last night. Once, and honestly, the only thing that struck me was his focus on retail and that we need more jobs so that people can start buying stuff again.

    The intent was probably to put a stronger focus on other types of employment and/or businesses that would support retail and thereby kick start the economy again, but that’s not what I got out of it even though I recall the manufacturing part. I also recall the “all the over the world on business” bit, which he seems to be raising quite a lot lately–and while the experience and his achievements I’m sure are impressive, I don’t understand how that would make him a better Governor.

    Overall, I was left with the impression that he’s the careful, nice guy that everyone knows and likes, he wants to help on the business front, but his comfort zone is retail and the small manufacturing shops and other businesses that support it. (And he’s got international business experience.)

    He’s always been “everywhere,” so a lot of people know him, and so I suppose I was looking forward to something that told us more about why he’d make a great Governor.

    It’s probably there, but the way it’s often presented seems a bit too superficial, maybe? I don’t know whether that’s the right word, but it’s the only one I can think of right now.

  35. - A guy... - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    I agree and disagree with Rich on this. Agree: He very much needs a theme and a couple of solid identifiers that are unmistakably Dan Rutherford stands for…. Disagree: People vote for guys they like, people they think are nice guys all the time. This video won’t convert to television (for God sake, straighten out the LG’s glasses!) It will do fine for Social Media and to pass around the base or in Friend to friend situations. All in all, it’s good but not nearly enough. He does need an issue with some magnetism to set him apart.

  36. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    =People vote for guys they like, people they think are nice guys all the time.=

    I wouldn’t count on that right now, when the employment situation in the State isn’t all that hot. Right or wrong on whether anyone in government can or should be able to do something about it (and opinions on how), people will probably prefer a tough business-minded SOB who they believe is capable of going head to head with the corporations to create or save jobs v. a nice guy who is there to listen, understand, and tell an interesting story at a party.

    Examples of the two extremes just to emphasize who I believe might be more popular in tough economies.

    That’s why so many are disappointed in what a “disaster” the Rauner campaign is…and what I’ll call his “business perspective” seems to be.

  37. - Former Merit Comp Slave - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    Not the best he could do, but he’s still got my vote, at least so far. I don’t vote based on the ads, though I realize many less informed voters do.

  38. - Soccermom - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Rauner just opened the door — really wide. I’m interested to see whether any of the other GOP candidates have the wherewithal to walk in.

  39. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    ===people will probably prefer a tough business-minded SOB who they believe is capable of going head to head with the corporations to create or save jobs v. a nice guy who is there to listen===

    Who is this politician that you describe? Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman fit your description, but they weren’t loved by all.

  40. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 4:44 pm:

    ==I’m interested to see whether any of the other GOP candidates have the wherewithal to walk in.==

    Dillard tried by throwing a paper airplane through the doorway with his message on it.

  41. - JB - Friday, Jan 10, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    I’ve always wondered this, is that curly-headed lady his sister?

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