Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch has a by-lined story on Tim Kaine’s early use of television ads, plus what will probably be regular feature, “Campaign Spot Watch.” “Spot Watch” examines each ad in detail, here and here.

I find the difficult role of Kaine’s wife, Ann Holton, to be interesting. As a district court judge, she is banned from participating in election campaigns, but she got permission to appear in one of the ads as long as she did not speak. I wonder if there will be other strained situations for her down the road.

While his wife could not speak, Kaine’s children do vouch for their Dad. I’m uncomfortable with a candidate bringing his/her family too much into the campaign and I hope to see the ad to gauge whether it trips my comfort meter. Mark Earley did an ad with his kids and Ukrop grocery bags in 2001 that I don’t think did him any good.

Update: Norm at One Man’s Trash, the go-to guy in the Virginia blogosphere on all things advertising and message related, has his take here. I incorrectly attributed both “Spot Watch” write-ups to Schapiro; Norm, showing much more attention to detail, noted that Tyler Whitley evaluated the biographical ad. Schapiro evaluated the tax reduction ad.

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  1. What’s wrong having the Kaine family in a political ad. It just informs the public about the candidate. I would love to see Kilgore’s political ad with his mother featured.
    Barnie Day’s line…Say hey to Willie Mae.

    A family value issue here.

  2. Addison Avatar

    Just watch it on

    C’mon Will, as an ambassador of the new media, you must embrace the new media.

  3. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Well, ok, Addison, but I really want to see it like most people do: in the kitchen, with dinner cooking, the phone ringing, the kids yelling, and the mortgage escrow account summary on top of the mail pile.

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