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Biss launches first TV ad

Tuesday, Jan 9, 2018

* Press release…

After raising $1.095 million in fourth quarter and kicking off the first quarter of 2018 with $3.1 million cash on hand, Biss for Illinois is launching its first television ads. The ads, “Personal” and “Homework” introduce voters to Daniel and explain why a middle-class community organizer and public school parent is the only candidate Illinoisans can trust to fix our broken system.

“Personal” features Daniel and his wife getting their children ready for school in the morning, while “Homework” shows Daniel sitting with one of his kids to help with a homework assignment.

Watch the 30 second ad: “Personal”

“I think if more politicians had kids in public schools, or struggled to balance their own budgets, we’d have an Illinois that worked for the middle class,” says Daniel in “Personal.” “That’s why I left teaching, to be an organizer then a state senator, to fight for fair taxes and healthcare we can all afford, and that’s why I’m running for governor. Because fixing our broken system isn’t some campaign promise: for me, it’s personal.”

Watch the 15 second ad: “Homework”

“As the only candidate for governor with kids in public schools, I’m also the only one who will make billionaires pay their fair share in taxes to fully fund them,” says Daniel in “Homework.”

* Rate ‘em…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Piece of Work - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    How is that fight for fair taxes working out Daniel?

  2. - Not bad - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    Good script and concept, but Biss is not dynamic on TV. Also I get he’s supposed to be getting ready in the morning, but the suit and tie come across as pretty stiff. B

  3. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    Honest question, no snark - what is Dan Biss’s experience as a “community organizer”? Does anyone know?

  4. - Near West side - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    Kennedy’s kids went to New Trier (a public school) so that hurts what is otherwise a decent ad.

  5. - Red Ranger - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:33 am:

    C+, the ads assume you already know a little bit about Daniel Biss. Needs a real intro ad which talks about his accomplishments (minor snark intended there).

  6. - WC - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    A solid B to B+. “The only candidate sending kids to public school” works well.

    Hate to say it, but he might need to do something more attention-grabbing to break through, ala Dawn Clark Netsch shooting pool. Juggling, perhaps?

  7. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    === Honest question, no snark - what is Dan Biss’s experience as a “community organizer”? Does anyone know? ===

    I was wondering the same. I think he was more a volunteer than anything.

  8. - Big Amazon Guy - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:35 am:


  9. - The Crane - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    Technically, he is the only candidate with kids in public schools … currently. I think Chris’s youngest is about to turn 20.

  10. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    ==Kennedy’s kids went to New Trier (a public school) so that hurts what is otherwise a decent ad.==
    I wonder if Biss knew that. “But my kids went to public school…New Trier!” is technically correct but isn’t the best defense. Clever move by the Biss campaign if they knew this but put it up anyway.

    The ads: both B-.

    The first one starts off poorly: (1) starts off looking like a Pritzker ad and (2) Biss’ house itself looks quite nice at first from the inside. Perhaps they should’ve started with the
    more modest view from the outside.

    The second one - the interaction with his own kid didn’t seem so natural to me - too much space between them, the awkward hand on back - I just don’t buy it.

  11. - Montrose - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    “I’m also the only one who will make billionaires pay their fair share in taxes to fully fund them”

    Pritzker is a very vocal proponent of instituting a progressive tax that will up the rate on the 1%. Is Biss saying he supports a higher rate on billionaires than JB does? Not snark. I honestly want to know where the distinction lies between Biss and Pritzker on this policy.

  12. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    I know I’m biased, but that was a seriously mediocre effort. Not sure why. There’s nothing wrong with the script per se. I just think the production was awkward (it seemed to start in mid-sentence) and Daniel is not particularly good on camera. The result is a C effort.

    Any clue how much he’s spending and where?

  13. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    Half surprised he isn’t trying to move left in each shot :-)

    Not a bad into ad however.

  14. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    One of Rauner’s daughters went to Walter Payton College Prep…

  15. - PatchAdams - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    public elementary schools in Northwest Evanston are no different than public elementary school in New Trier township

  16. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:01 pm:

    First ad was quite good as an intro. The ranch house, the nice but simple kitchen, the kids going off to school. Very clearly this was intended (and I think works) to differentiate him from the ultra wealthy candidates he is running against. Don’t know how much it will garner him votes, or if in the end the Dem primary voters will even care about wealthy candidates–but Biss has staked out a territory with this ad that neither JB or Chris can occupy. Grade A

  17. - MissingG - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    Biss dropped a g on “teaching”

    I’m not certain if that loses him any votes, but I, for one, am furious

  18. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:08 pm:

    These ads encapsulate the problem with the Biss campaign. He’s a nice guy and is highly qualified but he lacks charisma. He’s the wonky guy that leaders hire to help accomplish points of an agenda, but he’s not leadership material. Sorry, but he just doesn’t inspire.

  19. - WizzardofOzzie - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    What’s interesting to me is that he called himself a “teacher” and not a math professor. I’ve always thought his background would make it really difficult to connect to downstate voters outside college towns. Clearly his polling says the same thing.

    It looks like he’s going to pretend to be a “regular guy”. Candidates get themselves in trouble when they try to be something their not. Daniel has PhD from MIT and his wife has one from Northwestern. Daniel is a lot of things, but a “regular guy” isn’t one of them.

  20. - Sharon - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    Is there something about running for governor that makes people drop their Gs?

  21. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    One technical note — I find the background noise distracting. I kept pausing the ad because I thought I had another video running on another tab.

  22. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:28 pm:

    I know he’s the guy I should be voting for, but I’m not impressed with either ad. He just seems so awkward in both. And the dropped ‘g’ made me want to scream.

  23. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:29 pm:

    Daniel was a “community organizer” because Obama was a community organizer. He never did any actual organizing, just jumped on the bandwagon with the title. He did “serve” on some community boards, but his service mostly involved skipping the vast majority of meetings.

  24. - Taxman - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===Pritzker is a very vocal proponent of instituting a progressive tax that will up the rate on the 1%. Is Biss saying he supports a higher rate on billionaires than JB does? Not snark. I honestly want to know where the distinction lies between Biss and Pritzker on this policy.===

    Biggest difference is that Biss supports closing the carried interest loophole in state taxes, Pritzker doesn’t. Both are in favor of a progressive income tax but because of that policy difference billionaires would be paying more under Biss.

  25. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    I need to see a path to success
    I don’t see that.
    My activist trainer taught me
    That a direct action should
    Factor in these four criteria
    I think Biss should take note
    Winnable- I don’t see how Biss can win
    Impactful- I don’t see stoking class as being
    Limited- it’s too broad of an attack
    Targetted- this is Targeted to limit big donors

    In other words, these adds really aren’t going to
    Effect the outcome.

  26. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 1:04 pm:

    I think his house is adorable, his kids are cute.

    But he is awkward and like WC suggested, maybe he should try to play up his nerdiness and bring back the juggling tricks from his commercials for the PAC last year.

    I think there is a better way to show his personality and make him catchier.

  27. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    Anon at 1:04 - that’s his house. Those aren’t even his kids. Look at his bio on his campaign webpage. He doesn’t have a daughter.

    Apparently, it’s so personal that he had to hire actors.

  28. - JoeMaddon - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 1:28 pm:

    **Anon at 1:04 - that’s his house. Those aren’t even his kids.**

    Don’t make stuff up. Especially about family. You are wrong. It is absolutely his kids.

  29. - DuPage Moderate - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    Great - another crusader doing his best to drive the multi-millionaires and billionaires from Illinois - while the rest of us are stuck.

    Democrats needs a new shtick.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===Those aren’t even his kids. Look at his bio on his campaign webpage. He doesn’t have a daughter.===

    To all this,

    It’s very subtly artsy.

    It’s not phony where the kids or house or backpack are real and true to Biss…

    … it’s artsy. It’s a metaphor of normalcy and “middle class”, a snapshot of a morning, and Biss being at ease in that middle class “morning” and “who he is”

    The noise (hat tip to - Soccermom -), the clutter, how it was shot, the long shot of the house, kids outside… it’s smart to the art. It’s sneaking a peek into our own lives.

    Is it too cute, that might be the question.

  31. - Metro East Resident - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    I know that Daiber is not looked at as a “real” candidate but it has to hurt his ego as he is a former public school teacher whose kids went to public school and I think go to SIUE now. Slap in Dr. Daiber’s face.

  32. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    Something was really off in the VO.

  33. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    You can’t spell Beautiful Disaster without B-I-S-S.

  34. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Ok, I watched it several times and didn’t notice the “Middle Class Governor” tagline until just now. I just don’t think running on an “I’m not rich” platform is going to persuade people to vote for Biss. It’s not nearly enough.

  35. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    ==Those aren’t even his kids. Look at his bio on his campaign webpage. He doesn’t have a daughter.==

    I’m not a daughter, although I play one on TV.

  36. - Angel's Sword - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 3:36 pm:

    Pretty bad. The flat monotone delivery and lack of music makes the presentation very boring, and there’s not a lot of substance here either.

    I also think they compare very unfavorably to Pritzker’s. There’s actually quite a bit more substance (and energy) in Pritzker’s latest ads.

  37. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 3:56 pm:

    “- Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 2:51 pm”

    What you posted is nasty and totally uncalled for. You’re taking advantage of Rich being sick to post something he would instantly delete otherwise. Get ready to be banned.

    And can we stop this nonsense about his kids. He has two and they’re in the ad.

  38. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 3:58 pm:

    Again, doesn’t a progressive tax require a constitutional change?

  39. - WheatonWillie - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    ===And can we stop this nonsense about his kids. He has two and they’re in the ad.===

    You’ve seen his website, right? In case you haven’t, here is a picture of his family:

  40. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 4:49 pm:

    ==And can we stop this nonsense about his kids. He has two and they’re in the ad.==

    Various articles and Facebook posts have referred to Biss’ children as “the boys” and both have masculine names. Due to creative editing, it’s hard to tell if that is indeed a girl or merely a child that identifies as a girl.

    Either way, can a political ad be effective if the message is usurped by the actors?

  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 9:43 pm:

    To the Ads,

    I’m grading them both as they are companion message Ads.

    They’re artsy, like I said. They are snapshots to a moment, to a morning, to a day, a window to “middle class”

    In that artsy way, these moments and watching, they show Boss as “middle class”, showing priorities and beliefs, living those thoughts out, and it works.

    It might be too smart, they are very smart to a theme and image. They show priorities and who Biss wants to be to the viewer.

    How are they too smart?

    Are they memorable enough to move numbers avd clever enough to persuade and educate viewers and strike a nerve?

    We’ll see.

    They are “Bs”.

    Can they be seen enough to talk about Biss, and how middle class he is… that’s the real question.

  42. - Jonathan - Tuesday, Jan 9, 18 @ 11:03 pm:

    Those are his actual kids - I have seen them with him at events several times.

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