DENVER – Andrew Romanoff, former Speaker of the state House and Democratic challenger for Congressman Mike Coffman’s south-Denver swing seat, released his introductory online ad Wednesday.
The ad mostly features a smiley Romanoff wandering through suburban homes while typical 6th Congressional District families — i.e. both white and Hispanic — get ready for the day. Over a seemingly oblivious family of four eating breakfast we hear Romanoff introduce himself for the first time and instantly pivot to the importance of the middle class to a thriving economy.
“You know, some folks believe the way you grow the economy is by giving all the breaks to the big oil companies and the Wall Street banks,” Romanoff laments. That’s a subtle-ish strike at his opponent, Mike Coffman, who’s been repeatedly slammed by conservation groups for having the oil-friendly voting record of a “climate change denier.”
Next we see Romanoff strolling through a suburban green space complete with electrical towers. With so much sun and wind, Romanoff argues, it only makes fiscal sense to have national leadership that pushes for greater investment in “Colorado energy.” Clean energy that is, not tax breaks for big oil. This phrasing could be a clever move by the Romanoff campaign. Notice we don’t hear the f-word at all as Romanoff defines “Colorado energy” exclusively as wind and solar.
Probably the biggest thing that happens in the ad, though, is that Romanoff comes right out and says gendered unequal pay is real, it sucks and it hurts Colorado’s middle class.
“So here’s an idea: Instead of giving themselves perks and pay raises, Congress ought to make sure you get paid what you’ve earned,” says Romanoff, transitioning directly to a scene where a Latina mom wakes up her teenaged son so that, with Romanoff’s help in Congress around affordability, of course, he can someday attend college.
Last of all Romanoff turns on the budget, asserting that he knows how to balance one from doing it every year he was speaker of the Colorado House. That statement is 100 percent true of every speaker because we have a balanced budget law in Colorado, but it’s still a good current-Congress jab.
“If you think Congress should stay focused on the top, I’m probably not the guy for you. But if you agree the way to create good jobs and grow the economy is to put the middle class first, then I hope you’ll join me,” Romanoff concludes as our first family loads themselves into a minivan.
The ad leverages visions of daily life and intentional scene changes to get across the single major message — that Romanoff will put the middle class first — and several smaller messages about who he thinks is or should be in the middle class and how they earn their money. The scenes and characters are all very 6th Congressional District, right down to the never-opened box of Walmart-brand cereal Romanoff enters and exits the ad with.
Romanoff communications director Denise Baron noted that carrying objects through scenes is the theme in the ad, and a bit of fun. It’s worth noting, too, that there’s more than a dozen Walmarts in the District.