Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The mayoral candidate's daughter

Remember back in 2007 when then-candidate Nutter offered an ad featuring his daughter? History repeats itself in Pittsburgh.

The mayoral candidate's daughter

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Pennsylvania Auditor General and candidate for governor Jack Wagner listens to a question during  a 90-minute debate  Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pa. Six candidates running for Pennsylvania Governor in the May 18th primary election participated in a debate focused on issues of good government including campaign finance and election reform, ethics and redistricting.  (AP Photo/Jason Minick)
Pennsylvania Auditor General and candidate for governor Jack Wagner listens to a question during a 90-minute debate Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pa. Six candidates running for Pennsylvania Governor in the May 18th primary election participated in a debate focused on issues of good government including campaign finance and election reform, ethics and redistricting. (AP Photo/Jason Minick)

Here we go again.

Remember back in 2007 when then-candidate Michael Nutter broke through in the Democratic primary with a TV ad featuring his daughter Olivia?

The spot, in which Olivia, then in middle-school, spoke to camera about her dad, was widely credited with winning the nomination for Nutter.

If you forget it or have never seen it, you can view or re-view it here.

Well, way across the state in Pennsylania's second city, another Democratic candidate for mayor is using the same technique to try to break through a contested mayoral primary.

Former state Auditor General Jack Wagner, in a tight race with Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto (the latest polling has Wagner trailing Peduto), has put up a TV ad featuring his daughter Sara.

As in the Nutter spot, Wagner's ad has Sara speaking to camera, extolling the virtues of her father. Sara is 18 and notes this is the first election in which she can vote, adding "that's pretty cool."

And to make her dad look "pretty cool," she and father fist-bump at the end of the ad.

You can see the Wagner ad here.

As in Philly, winning the Democratic nomination in Pittsburgh is the same as winning the mayor's office.

This daughter-loves-father technique -- clearly aimed at making dad look cooler and more appealing, especially to younger people, than he really is -- worked well in the east. We'll see if it also works in the west.

Pittsburgh's primary is Tuesday.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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