Eric Greitens is blasting his way into the public eye—and not in a good way. Most candidates’ first TV ads are homey affairs, introducing themselves and their all-American families, and focusing on the personal history that drove them to public service. Not so for Greitens. He’s a Republican, running for Governor of Missouri, and his first ad is very different, to say the least.
Watch this, and you’ll see what I’m talking about:
This is what passes for political advertising in 2016. Unfortunately, in gun-loving Missouri, it’s well-targeted. [Missouri’s legislature recently passed a bill making it legal to concealed-carry a gun without a permit. It’s the wild wild west out here.]
Well, at least in his ad, Greitens is not aiming at an image of another politician. But if this is his opening round [pun intended], we can expect a lot more of this macho, gun-totin’ attitude as the August Missouri primary election gets closer. The ad blitz has just begun. Greitens is in a four-way race with some other very aggressive candidates. It’s going to get ugly, and if this ad is an indicator, the ugly is going to be really bad.
PS: This is not an ad created by a PAC that [supposedly] cannot tell the candidate what it’s up to. This ad is funded by Greitens himself. This is who he is and how he chooses to present himself.
And this may only be the beginning: Greitens has amassed a giant campaign treasury—more than $4 million so far–over half of which comes from donors outside of Missouri. The speculation is that he and his national donors are angling for a shot at the Republican presidential nomination in 2020.
Greitens is locked and loaded. “We don’t need more rhetoric,” he says, in print. But his bang-bang, blow-‘em-up debut ad implies an alternative that is much worse.