Bush for President, Inc.

"Dangerous World"
30 sec. TV spot run in South Carolina starting Nov. 16, 1999.

Maverick Media

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Gov. George W. Bush (voice over and on camera):  Today we live in a world of terrorists, madmen and missiles. 

Our military is challenged by aging weapons and low morale.

Because a dangerous world still requires a sharpened sword, I will rebuild our military.

I will move quickly to defend our country and allies against blackmail by building missile defense systems.

As president, I will have a foreign policy with a touch of iron, driven by American interests and American values.


Imagery: The ad is built upon scenes of a young girl wandering around an abandoned facility.  Bush is mostly off camera, but he is shown talking to the camera a couple of times backed by a plain white background.  At the end of the ad a soldier reaches out to the girl; however only the soldier's arm is shown.

Analysis:  An underlying sense of menace permeates "Dangerous World" as the girl wanders around the isolated facility.  From this perspective, the ad recalls the unseen menace of Ronald Reagan's "bear in the woods" ad.   Other elements combine to create the threatening mood, including a quick shot of a yellow "caution" ribbon, a brief clip of missiles lighting up the night sky during the Gulf War and various percussive elements on the sound track.  At one point the girl is shown standing on the pavement, and then there is a quick cut of the same scene without the girl, as if she had been evaporated.  The girl is also shown running, as if she were trying to escape this nightmarish place.  In the end, however, there is the reassuring presence of the soldier reaching out to the girl, who looks up and smiles.

Dan Amundson, research director at the Center for Media and Public Affairs notes that this ad works on several levels.  The use of a single young girl recalls the famous "Daisy" commercial used by the Johnson campaign to Goldwater in the 1964 campaign.  The abandoned facility likely will strike a chord with people who have lived with or are concerned about military base closings.  Finally, the fact that the soldier is not shown in full but remains off-camera with just his arm reaching in leaves ample room for interpretation.