Montana Governor 2012: Social Media Contrasts


4&20 blackbirds  recently posted “Social Media and Montana’s Road to 2012…. or Your (sic) Doing it Wrong”. Although I disagreed with a few of the blogger’s liberal-leaning critiques, the bulk of the post was funny because it was so true.  The post suggests that successful use of social media includes the following:  engaging friends, eliminating staff posting (create your own posts), making posts personal yet using a filter(ask Weiner about this), utilizing creativity and wit (if available), and researching Montana’s candidates who have been successful in promoting themselves in today’s technological age (like Mike Miller and Ellie Hill) The blogger also discouraged candidates from following too many people and posting anything resembling something from the Facebook wall of James Knox.

Recent research has suggested that in predicting elections, social media presence is at least as important if not more than the amount of money raised by candidates. Now that the governor’s race in Montana has been elevated to Politico’s most competitive in the nation,  I decided to examine the use of social media by a few of the GOP’s Gubernatorial candidates. I’ve included promotional videos for each candidate, links to their social media accounts as well as an opinionated unbiased assessment of overall performance.

Rick Hill 

Viral ads: Hill’s campaign has been fraught with controversy thanks to a scandalous past brought to light by a concerned conservative friend of Ken Miller, prompting Mermaid-gate and our third most-viewed post of all time.   Hill’s Mr Rogers-esque promotional video betrays no signs of his wild side, so thank you to whoever was responsible for compiling the sleaze (yes, Nancy Davis, I’m talking to you), effectively making Mr UN seem just a little more electable/desirable than he likely is in reality.  I will leave the family values comments to the Miller camp.   Twitter: Hill has yet to master the art of the tweet and tends to primarily post links to his own campaign’s promotional posts, which is not a recommended course of action, especially because his promotional material is so uninteresting.  Facebook: Hill is off to a slow start, although this is his…. third start? His former Facebook group “A Lot of Folks for Rick Hill” peaked at well under a hundred folks and his handlers changed course a couple of times as a result.  Long-time lobbyist Hill earns an easy grade of Fail for his inability or unwillingness to engage his followers.  His posts are boring and receive very few, if any comments.  I can’t determine whether his posts are his own or from his staff, but let’s just hope they were written by staffers.  There would then be room for improvement.  Overall: Hill’s filter, if applicable; is far too fine to allow any effective engagement let alone posts that demonstrate any level of creativity or wit.  This campaign- even with the added excitement of the mermaid- is utterly soul-less. Verdict: Over the Hill.

Neil Livingstone:

I perused Livingstone’s website and was only able to find a number of national news interviews about terrorism and a dreadfully boring interview by Montana Shrugged so I decided it was in Mr Livingstone’s best interest that I not post a video at this time.  Should his campaign provide us with a promotional video, we’d be happy to post and assess it however. Twitter:  Neil’s tweets comprise an interesting combination of terrorism discussion, cooking/recipes, and political commentary- some of which even is relevant to Montana.  His filter appears to be working properly and his tweets are somewhat frequent.  His recipes offer a glimpse into his personal non-national-terrorism-expert life although many Montanans still may be unable to relate- Morel popcorn, anyone?  Facebook:  This account could use some work.  Livingstone should probably link his Facebook to his Twitter and blog to streamline posts among the outlets-  otherwise it appears that his Facebook account is more of a recipe repository than a Gubernatorial campaign page. I’d also suggest posting more links and statuses that relate specifically to our state. Livingstone’s personal wealth alone makes him a contender but he faces many obstacles in gaining name recognition beyond political junkies and terrorism buffs- if terrorism buffs actually exist, that is.  Nearly a year remains before primary elections in Montana.

Ken Miller:

Viral AdsThe only shocking- or even remotely energizing- component of Miller’s video is found within the youtube view counter-  there have been 1,217 views of this gouge-your-eyes-out-boring piece.  Miller’s overall presentation is dull as is the content.   Twitter: If the Miller campaign has a Twitter account, I’m not aware of it.  This is probably for the best as successful tweets require a level of spontaneity and authenticity that would be difficult for a fledgling Tweeter like Miller to pull off. Facebook: Staff/TEA people regularly post as Miller on his campaign site, as evidenced here.  He engages followers minimally and generally refers those who have questions or comments to his cell phone.  He seems to be doing a good job at physically traveling around Montana as evidenced by the plethora of photos posted from each location on the campaign trail but to me he seems a bit reluctant.  Miller’s supporters compensate for his lack of energy, however.  In fact, one of them sent out this ambitious campaign donation solicitation, complete with a conspiracy theory theme.  Overall: Before utilizing the above-mentioned filter, his campaign should instead employ the use of spell-check.  Considering his lengthy political history, I’m rather surprised by his selection of a rabid tea person as a campaign site administrator.  Engagement with voters is important, even when the issue at hand isn’t one Governor Jan Brewer supports- Miller failed to effectively respond to medical cannabis patients’ questions at a recent event at a gun shooting facility- his wife Peggy instead forcibly interfered with the video recording of his responses.  Miller has much to learn in the world of social media, but with God on his side, he should have no problems.

Corey Stapleton

Viral Ads: Stapleton’s piece is by far the best and I love that it isn’t bloated or ego-driven. This edgy promotional material is consistent with earlier photos released by his camp and it is apparent that he has employed a team of talented individuals to head up his marketing. This video was released last night, but already has over 100 views on youtube and more on Facebook. Twitter: Although Stapleton’s tweets are interesting-  like this one: “Gov Schweitzer wants to sell MT’s coal to China and solve their energy shortages. I want to sell MT’s coal to America, and solve our own.”, they are infrequent.  There is room for improvement here- more in numbers than content.  Facebook: Over 4000 people “like” his page compared to Hill’s paltry 345 and Miller’s 1017.  Little investigation is required to determine why he has 4 times the number of Facebook fans either-  his wall is a pleasant mix of thought-provoking questions and statements with a few personal touches here and there. Stapleton seems accessible and his friends appear engaged.  Stapleton isn’t afraid to make controversial statements and the ensuing debates with his friends are polite and rational.   Overall: Stapleton wins. He appears to handle his own social media (or he’d likely have far more tweets under his belt) and I thankfully wasn’t able to locate any post likely to be written by James Knox.  Friends are engaged, posts are witty, creative and a bit dangerous.

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30 thoughts on “Montana Governor 2012: Social Media Contrasts

  1. I agree, this Stapleton ad is the best of the bunch. Also interesting that he has like 10 times the facebook friends. Remember when Hill sent out that weird email about how he was going to have the best online presence of all time? Looks like he’s just too old to pull it off.

  2. I have to agree with your assessment. I thought Rick Hill’s piece came off as disingenuous…. like kissing babies at a parade. His fake smile and kiss-up, pandering-style political language was nauseating. He was as transparent as the glass at the mermaid pool.

    I saw Ken Miller’s 4 hour, oh wait, 4 minute piece a couple of weeks back. The piece is so awful, I ended up watching the entire thing 3-4 times. It’s like watching a horrible train full of families slam into a burning semi. I couldn’t believe the train-wreck I was watching. I kept wondering how that awful script made it through pre-production. And questioned who the producer was…. because any decent producer would have a) looked at the script and realized it was 3 minutes too long, and b) once he/she saw how awful he was on camera would have opted for a better way to get the message out. It clearly smacks of real amateurs at work. Just skilled enough to make Miller look like a fool.

  3. Interesting piece. Pretty much in line with my thoughts on the Republican line up on these issues. I would be interested in your view of the rest of us in this race (Or would I?). I do love your post though.

    • Thank you, Ron. At this point, you are unopposed, no? The dem field has a prohibitionist and a cannabis proponent. There just isn’t that much to say yet…. on a conservative blog anyway. As the race progresses, I will write more. I am the only blogger here who will write about this race because Tana and Nic have conflicts of interest.

  4. I can tell you Ron, that I’m personally a fan of the vast majority of libertarian views. But I hate to say it…. it’s a two party system. I’d love to see more libertarians move into the GOP and start making changes within. Odds of a libertarian winning this election, in my opinion, are pretty lean.

  5. Right, Sparky, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are libertarians running in the 2 party system as Republicans. Ron Paul has worked hard to become integrated into Republican circles. But the powers that be in the GOP will never support Ron Paul because he takes stands on important issues. He’s been doing it for 30 yrs, and now people are seeing that he was right all along. We need people like him running at the state level. Fiscally conservative and socially tolerant. People who aren’t afraid to take stands on controversial issues that affect many of us.

  6. First, I disagree on your take on Rick Hill’s video. You are looking at it with “Corey” colored glasses. Yes, the Stapleton ad was flashy, seemingly well made and interesting. Sadly, it actually said nothing. It did not give away any idea what his stances are, what his ideas are or how he would go about accomplishing them.

    Rich Hill’s ad was just the opposite. He focused on what is likely to be the single largest concern of the VAST majority of Montana Voters – Jobs. If the economy remains the way it is now or even close to what it is now, Jobs are what is going to get someone elected, not flashy ads, pretty scenary or shots of “typical Montanans” (not sure I would classify those shots as “typical” but I do live in a blue color, small town in southern Montana). The Native American picture in the background didn’t hurt either given the current common perception that the Republicans are racist and specifically anti-Native.

    As far as the rest of the post, thanks for the factual information. The success Corey has had with facebook is pretty impressive though it hasn’t seemed to help him much in the polls. I would curious what A&&mann’s numbers are and where he stands with the social media. It would also be interesting to see how the Democratic Candidates stand.

    Also keep in mind that this is Montana. Social Networking and internet/tweet skills are no where near as important as say.. Washington or Oregon. In Montana, shaking the hand of a constituant in real life will still carry more weight than how many friends you have on Facebook. Further, having friends on Facebooks doesn’t mean a whole lot. I have Friended a number of candidates – not because I currently have any intention of voting for them, but because it is a simple way of keeping track of what is going on with them. It also gives me the oppurtunity to ask policy/issue questions. So far, I would wager Wanzenried would probably come fairly close to Corey (if not exceed him) in tech/social network skills not that I think it will help him win the election. If Bullock enters the race or if Bohlinger enters the race as a Democrat, Wanzenried is toast no matter how many facebook friends he has.

    • Moorcat, I don’t have any Corey colored glasses. I’ve never met him and don’t even know who I’m going to vote for. The post was purely about the candidates’ use of social media. Say what you want about Hill’s video, but in exactly three months, it has been viewed 300 times. Even Miller’s video has more views. I wasn’t saying Hill would be a bad governor or that Corey would be a good one….. it was just a contrast of their social media use. The point of a viral ad is to have it go viral, not to outline a candidate’s entire list of stances and ideas. I didn’t include “A&&mann’s numbers because he hasn’t filed to run in the race. As far as social media goes, he only recently joined Facebook (reportedly only so he could complain about a rogue Essmann for Gov” account), has no Twitter account, no youtube channel. Wanzenried only recently joined Facebook and has no Twitter or Youtube channel. I didn’t compare the democrat candidates because 1. we already know who it will be 2. this is a conservative blog 3. none of them use social media.

      Social media has changed campaigning, even in Montana, ignore it at your peril. I didn’t find the ad flashy at all. I thought it was edgy and raw.. “seemingly well made”? What does that mean exactly? I’m no cinematographer… I just enjoyed the ad, that’s all. Others have too it appears- the youtube channel shows nearly 500 views and that doesn’t include ones viewed on Facebook. “it hasn’t helped him much in the polls” …. Which polls are you referring to? A recent poll by PPP appeared to ignore him all together. Although he’s polled #2 in most polls, PPP chose to poll about people who hadn’t even announced? That seems sort of odd, doesn’t it? I don’t know much about Stapleton but I know way too much about Hill, that’s for sure. Miller creeps me out and his attachment to the tea party disturbs me. Maybe I should run. I agree that not everyone in someone’s friends list actually likes them, but I’d also think that those keeping an eye on him would likely be keeping an eye on his opponents as well, right? That would give the opponents higher numbers… but nope. You are right, I’m sure. Those people are all stalking Corey.

      Last election season, the GOP candidates campaigned on platforms of JOBS JOBS JOBS. What did we get? A mmj obsession, that’s what. Rick Hill can talk all he wants about jobs, but his voting record is not great and talk is cheap. His character is iffy- I just don’t trust him. I don’t care about his mermaid trysts but something about him seems very disingenuous. He seems to be the kind who would push his faux family values on the rest of us. There is still a year left to decide who I’m voting for. And maybe I need to shake all of the candidate’s hands first.

      So, considering the title of my post was Social Media Contrasts, do you still disagree with my assessment?

      • Yes, and no. I am sorry for assuming you were a Stapleton fan – it appeared that way by your writeup. I am also aware of what the focus of the post was. I was simply giving my take on it from the stance of a fellow blogger, and moderate conservative.

        So let us begin… Both Miller’s video and Stapleton’s video have more views because they have both been featured in some venue (blogs or facebook). I am somewhat impressed that Hill’s video has 300 views without being featured on either though it does point out his lack of social network skills. He needs to get involved with some of the Montana Bloggers – that would help him out immensely. One other aspect of the video that is noteworthy is that the liberal/progressive blogs decided NOT to tear it apart like they did the Miller video (that is why the Miller video has so many views – it was featured as an example of what there is to hate about MIller on three seperate liberal blogs). Had the Hill video been featured on Intellegent Disconnect or Cowgirl’s blogs, it would have a hell of a lot more hits. This leads me to my second point…

        What many don’t get about Social Media is how everything is connected. The more a candidate is hated, the more likely that candidate will be featured on opposing side blogs, facebook posts etc. If you do a search on Knox – either facebook or internet, you will find literally hundreds of sites/posts that have talked about him but the VAST majority of those sites/posts were negative. The same goes for any candidate – especially if they have done something “newsworthy” like mermaidgate. Not only has Hill been in politics long enough that people know his name, there has been lots of chatter about Hill on the internet and facebook. Hill just isn’t internet savvy enough to take advantage of it yet.

        My second two points are related. First, I thought this blog had moved a little closer to the “independant/libertarian” focus… I am sorry if I was mistaken. Further, there is no reason a conservative blog can’t discuss Democratic Candidates, their use of social networking (even if they use it well – hell, we could learn something from it), and their chances in the races. In fact, if this is a conservative blog, it would behoove you to realistically look at their campaigns. Right now, they seem to be reaching the voters better and conservatives should learn from that.

        As far as “ignoring social media”, I am somewhat unlikely to do that. I have been running a blog off and on for over six years, my brother (Wulfgar) is one of the fathers of Montana Blogging and I have a long background in the tech field – my last job being a micro architecture engineer at INtel. That said, I am also realistic about it. In the urban areas, some difference can be made with it. Tester eeked out a win against Burns, in part, because of the concerted effort of a bunch of young internet savvy guys in Missoula. There were many other reasons Tester won (not the least of which was that Burns couldn’t keep his damn mouth shut), but the internet played a part in that win as well as campaign financing for Tester. There is a place for it in Montana. It just hasn’t become anywhere near as important as actual contact with the voters.

        There are downsides to some social media outlets as well. If you go out and “friend” candidates, it is not a hidden thing and people – including employers – will judge you by that. “Friending” someone doesn’t mean much either. Look at the difficulties Montanafesto has had with trolls and detractors “friending” her and then using that to attack her online. You really can’t tell much or make conclusions from a friends list. Let’s look at mine, for example. I have sent friends requests to Miller, Hill, Wanzenried and Stapleton. The ONLY one that has “friended” me is Wanzenried. I have no idea why that is. Each friend request had a statement that I was a political blogger and I wanted to get to know the candidate better. I did not state or imply that anyone is “stalking” anyone, just that the social media world is still fairly new to most Montanans and it’s use – or lack of use – will develop over time. Where I think we can both agree is that the Dems have always had an edge on the Republicans when it comes to the use of social media and it should be interesting to see how the Republicans adapt to it.

        It should also be pointed out that the Social Media world changes often and sometimes radically. Two years ago, the go-to social media site was Myspace. Now it is Facebook. Tomorrow it may be Google +. One thing that has been consistant for years, though is the Montana Blog-o-sphere (Rehberg’s Intertube thingies – I am sure he still regrets making that statement). I think a much better picture (and use of internet media) is the blogs. They have already proven their worth in previous elections and I am sure they will play a part – both positive and negative – in the next election.

        As far as the people elected in the last election being utter disappointments, you certainly won’t get any argument from me. Our elected officials were so bad that we garnered the dubious honor of being voted the most wingnut legislature in the country. That won’t change a thing, though, come the next election except for the wingnuts we elected. People are still out of work, the national economy crisis is finally starting to trickle down to Montana even though we were far better prepared for it than other states, and people want to work. If a politician promises JOBS, presents some kind of logical way to get jobs and wasn’t named skees, essmann or knox, they stand a good chance of getting elected. Jobs and the economy will the two primary voter concerns next year unless something radically changes between now and then.

        Like you, I have issues with Hill. His voting record stinks to high heaven, he flip flops on positions like a yoyo and he has a history of making sweeping promises that he can’t fulfill. If I had my druthers, I would vote for Bohlinger. He isn’t as popular as Schweitzer but he is still damn popular. He is a moderate conservative and he has experience that the other candidates do not have. He isn’t as flashy as Stapleton but he appeals to both the moderate right and the moderate left. He certainly ISN’T a wingnut Tea Partier. If he enters the race as a Democrat, the race is over. If he enters as a Republican, he will have to fight to win the primary – and the Montana Tea Party will hurt him in that – but if he wins the primary, he can easily beat either Wanzenried or Bullock. All the jokes about Rinos aside, he would be a decent candidate. Which brings me to my last point.

        You are correct, I was refering to the PPP poll. You have some valid points about it too. They did disregard Stapleton and I can even tell you why… Stapleton has not polled sufficiently well in other more inclusive polls to meet their requirements. Further, they were polling for the most likely mashups given the information that was current when the polls were run. They included both Bullock and Bohlinger because while neither has entered the race, both have said they consider it, both are capable of winning the race, and both poll well. I am sure Essmann was included because he is one of the “faces” of the true Montana Tea Party. If Stapleton contines to increase his popularity – especially if he begins to overtake Hill, I am sure future polls wil include him. I am not sure what polls you are refering to that place Stapleton second, but I don’t rule them out either. I haven’t seen every poll done here in Montana.

        As usual, I have been longwinded and I am sorry if I offended you with my original comment. I apologized for my assumption and I hope that is accepted.

        • I’m SO mad. I wrote a response at least as long as yours, Moorcat… and my stupid battery died on my laptop… without warning. I bet I spent an hour writing it! Ugh!

          I will have to make this brief now unfortunately.

          * Bohlinger cannot win the R primary. There is no question in my mind. Nice guy, but I see no leadership skills. He seems to be the kind of guy who will buy anything. Here is my assessment: Bohlinger is a jovial guy, uncomprehending of policy due to a greater belief that we should promote social welfare whatever the cost. Republicans do not like him and Democrats like him only as much as Republicans like Lieberman. Lieberman seems smarter.
          * Bullock is despicable.
          * Polling: The last poll I saw was in February. Stapleton did indeed poll second. 71% were undecided. Lots of potential there. To include Bohlinger, Essmann, Miller but not Corey seems very…. well, hmm peculiar.
          * Is Montanafesto a conservative blog? Yes, I’d say we are conservatives. The blog was supposed to offer a contrast to the liberal blogs that have reigned in the Montana blogosphere for so long. We differ from other conservative blogs though- for instance, the new Treasure State Politics blog. They are obviously funded by Rehberg and other party-approved Rs. Some of their pieces are very tabloid-like. I guess when we put halos and wings on the GOP God Squad, maybe we qualify as tabloid too, but I think we are all more genuine. We don’t accept ads and we try to avoid candidates if we can’t provide an objective opinion. That is the reason I am not willing to write about the GOP Governor’s race- I personally endorse Corey Stapleton as does Tana. MC is nowhere near making a decision, so she gets the honors. I think she did a great job on this post actually. I agree with most of her assessments. On the liberal side, I maintain less rigid guidelines of journalistic integrity. I will definitely write about the dem candidates- even though I personally endorse Wanzenried. I vote for the person, not the party; but that person is usually a Republican. I’m also an active member of the Young Republicans…. Definitely would call myself independent though, with strong libertarian tendencies. That alone should tell you that Corey isn’t a RWNJ. Although I’ve not yet been formally ostracized like Bohlinger, I’m reportedly “making waves” and not the most popular R on the block. Pretty sure the liberals don’t like us either though….. so maybe we just aren’t popular with anyone. The blog gets far more hits than any of us expected it would though. I remember the first comment I’d ever read about the blog- it was from Rob, calling us astroturf. Hey, at least he noticed us! He’s even promoted a few of my posts since.

          *Flashy is wearing a bowtie, which doesn’t apply to Corey or his ad.

          *If I was a politician, I wouldn’t friend you either. haha. When I became FB friends with Kendall van Dyk, Ellie Hill, and Dave Wanzenried, I made a commitment to use those relationships positively. I could stalk their walls and spin their posts, but that would accomplish nothing. I’m actually thankful to have a few liberals I can consult when necessary. I’m not saying you’d be a bad friend, but I assume politicians know you are a blogger and that your brother is at LITW, and they are protecting themselves. I know how that is. After being targeted by trolls who admittedly were employed by the DNC, I became far more careful about friends. I typically have 300+ friend requests waiting for vetting. I get behind and the number quickly gets out of hand. After my daughter created an anti-Obama FB group when she was 11 (it now has almost 6000 people in it) she also became a target. It was a scary time for us, we learned a lot of lessons.

          *I don’t see Hill getting involved with many bloggers, do you? 2 Helena Handbaskets likes him, but I’m not sure about any other conservative blogs. The liberal ones certainly aren’t fans. If I was Hill, I’d ignore the blogs and would definitely not respond to the affair posts. He made himself look far worse than if he’d ignored it. In his statement, he placed blame elsewhere, which always makes me wonder if someone is a sociopath.

          OK, I’m sure I missed the bulk of what I was trying to say, but I will have to address anything I omitted at a later time. Or better yet, MC can address them.

          • I will wait for the longer post “later” to respond save one point…

            Hill doesn’t necessarily have to get involved with a blogger to get blog coverage.. but it would certainly help him. There are quite a few conservative bloggers in this state (not like when I started blogging years ago…) and it shouldn’t be that hard to get a blogger on your side – especially if you offer that blogger exclusive “inside” stuff. I have seen other candidates do it (I have actually been offered that by a candidate before) and frankly, it works. Even if your readership is relatively small, it is at least some exposure. Further, if it becomes known that you have “special” information directly from a candidate, your readership will increase – even if it is opposing side bloggers looking for him to screw up.

            The effects of Social Networking is still an unproven quality in Montana. The effects of the Bloggers is NOT. A smart candidate would cultivate as much blogging exposure as possible.

    • @Moorcat

      When I looked at the Stapleton piece it is clearly an introductory branding piece. Something that sets the ideological tone of his campaign. I fully suspect we’ll see details come about in further ads. One of the things that politicians have difficulty accomplishing from the outset is defining their ideological stance. To me this piece set the mood… or SHOULD set the mood for further ads in the future. Let’s see how consistent his stances are with his intro ad.

    • @Moorcat

      Also… the opening ad hints at his stances on both the economy and individual freedoms. He obviously needs to define these in future spots or else he’ll lose the interest of the voting mass.

  7. There is something that has been me about Hill’s video and I just figured out what it was. It looks very staged, and he has himself placed off to the side with a prominent picture of Native Americans placed front and center, as if on purpose, as if he was purposely trying to get us to see how non-racist he is (in a super canned way.) There is something about it that just screams disingenuous.

    • There is no question it is staged, but aren’t all similar videos? It is clear he is reading something as well. I just get this feeling there isn’t much that is real about Hill.

    • I agree… that’s the first thing I noticed too. Which goes back to my kissing babies at parades. All disingenuous political posturing.

  8. What makes it obviously staged is that he has lined up his head to fit exactly between the bookshelf and the native american art.

    • Absolutely no argument.. but it was Advertising at it’s best. Staged or not, Hill hit the three main things the vast majority of voters will be looking for next year – Confident demeaner without being reactionary, JOBS, and an implied seperation from the Tea Party and worst elements of the Republican Party (that is the reason for the Native Art and as a Native, I find it somewhat insulting but we will jump right past that for now). Regardless of how hokey it is, I honestly believe that it will play to Hill’s traditional audience – older, working class people concerned about finding/keeping work. This is the section of the Montana Population that swept these tea party idiots into office and for the same reason – they promised jobs. Will it play to the younger demographic? Of course not. Stapleton’s ad is FAR better for that demographic. Will it play well to the pundits (let’s face it – in some respect, most of those that comment here are at least amataur pundits), again, of course not. It comes off staged, phoney and – like Hill himself – insincere. The average Montanan, though will see exactly what they want to see – in this order – “JOBS, a plan to get more JOBS, and oh look, he has a Native Picture behind him… he can’t be one of those tea party people that promised us JOBS and failed to deliver.”

      • I’m an issue voter. And since we are a year out from the actual election, and average voters are just starting to even consider caring about what’s happening, I think Corey’s spot is a nice “year out” intro piece. If he had released this in May 2012… I’d think he need help. There is plenty of time to fill in the gaps. I’m not a fan of Miller nor Hill. I find Miller to be a bomb-throwing, unable to stay on what is critical to Montana candidate… nice as he may be. He’s a nice guy, but definitely not a leader. And I find it interesting that MC Chica picked up on the same vibe I did… that his heart isn’t really into the race. Sometimes I think it’s his wife that wants him to be governor, not Ken.

        Rick Hill is the typical establishment slimeball. The guy drips of palm-greasing politics. Instant turn-off.

        Livingstone comes off as a nut job. At least to me. So I’ve not even bothered looking very far into his campaign. I think his is pretty much DOA.

        Out of the four presented here, I think Corey is probably the only guy who is likely the “resumé” candidate. At least he’s held real leadership. He’s written bills and had them pass. And, he’s passed bills that have saved Montanans millions of dollars. All of which I’m for. But…. I agree… let’s see what else he’s going to put out there. Hopefully he can put out a good policy ad with the level of quality as his, what I like to call, branding/ideological intro spot.

  9. I can accept that Stapleton’s ad was an “intro peice to set the mood of his campaign” and if that is true, he is obviously targetting the disenfranchised younger conservative vote. If that is his goal, he is definitely on the right track. I, too, would like to see his stances codified because he is all over the place on his facebook page (you don’t need to friend him to read it).

    If this is the case (and I am already willing to bow to that idea) it should be an interesting race between him and Hill. Hill is an established name in Republican politics and while most commenting here – myself included – see him as a career politician with the manner of a used car salesman, Grandma Moses next door knows his name and mark her ballot that way. Stapleton seems going after the young disenfranchised vote and – assuming he can wean himself from supporting a Tea party agenda on his facebook page after getting through the primary – he may be somewhat successful given his intro ad. The caviat there is that he will – at some point – HAVE to divorce himself from them. If he doesn’t, he becomes more of the same and the moderates will desert him like a bad case of the plague. Nothing I have seen on his facebook page or his responces to the media indicate that he is even interested in doing that anytime soon. I have had four people tell me now that he doing that on purpose to make it through the primary. To me, (remember, I am Native…) that shows a complete lack of integrity. If you believe something, stand up for it and be willing to take the heat for it. Don’t spout values and judgements that you don’t truly have just to get a few more votes. If you change course after winning the primary, you are proving you DON’T have integrity and people like me will bail – even if it means voting for a Democrat (assuming the Democrat has shown any integrity).

    Anyway, it should be interesting to see how the candidates use the social networks during the next 18 months.

  10. GIVE THAT MAN SOME FALSIES! Poor Cory, he’s got little man syndrome! All the macho lookin’ dudes in the ad simply made Cory look like a puny wimp by comparison! But not to worry. He needs some cowboy falsies is all! Cory needs a nice down vest to give his chest a nice male boost! Then, a ten gallon hat to man UP a few inches. And the kicker, some nice cowboy boots with lifts in the heels! Maybe THEN, Cory will look like Montana! Instead of a tourist from California! Cory needs to macho up! Otherwise, the ad simply serves as a sad reminder of the clash of reality vs. baloney. Maybe he should put on a sixshooter too! Ya never know. Might help! Heck, with all that talk about we be Montana, I would EXPECT to see some cattle with all that bullsh*t!

        • It’s pretty hilarious since Corey is an ex-Naval officer who was Officer on Deck of the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier. As well as missile fire control officer on a missile cruiser. Plus the guy is a serious athlete. Hardly falling into the wimpy camp. Lol.

          • I am ex-Navy and I certainly wouldn’t read too much into that. The right has gotten almost pathological with hero worship over anyone that has ever served in the Armed forces and frankly, it is really starting to bother me. I spent 8+ years in the Navy, operating Nuclear Reactors on Nuclear Submarines. I have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to Navy guys and Navy Officers. Like every other job in this country, some did it well, and some were complete dicks.

            Now I haven’t asserted that Corey is or is not a wimp. I don’t personally know the man. Since he is running for the Office of Governor of Montana and given the field of candidates in the race, he has to have at least some testicular fortitude. This race will be ugly, contentious, negative and bloody. If Corey is a “wimp”, we will know soon enough.

            • @Moorcat

              For sure…. being in the military doesn’t automatically qualify someone for sainthood. I definitely have respect for those who serve though… in the sense that how many people do you know that are willing to voluntarily put their life on the line for their country? It’s more about respecting the office than hero-worship for me.

              I nearly joined the Navy’s nuclear sub program as a nuclear engineer. At the last minute I got cold feet, as I was just about to be married. And my life direction changed.

              Corey has ran before…. twice. For state senator…. he was also minority whip. So I doubt he’ll be wimping out.

  11. PPP, Hill
    unsurprisingly leads for the gubernatorial slot, with 35% to Neil Livingstone’s 15%, Jeff
    Essmann’s 11%, Ken Miller’s 6%, and three others with 1-2%. Is your guy gonna make it? Hope so!

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