Close your eyes and picture a campaign ad that screams, “I love black people.” Can you see the African-American preacher? How about the wide-eyed black schoolchildren in bright clothing and clean, spacious classrooms? Splice in a few quotes from said preacher about how Burr is, “genuinely interested” in the black community — how he has worked tirelessly to “narrow the education gap.”
Sounds downright touching, doesn’t it?
Here, take a look.
Maybe Senator Richard Burr really gets it.
Wait. What’s that you say, Talking Points Memo?
Two pieces of the footage from Getty’s iStock catalogue that were used in the video are identified as “non U.S.” locations? They are tagged with keywords including, “South African culture” and “Africa”?
In other words, someone on his communications team saved a few bucks shopping on iStock rather than sending a cameraman out to film actual North Carolina kids. Embarrassing? Maybe. Big deal? No. Sloppy? Yes. Funny? Absolutely. And, more important, maybe not exactly the best outreach to the local African-American population.
Then again, Burr’s probably not angling for black votes; he knows he’s not going to get many of those. Instead, this ad aims to put daylight between Burr and the toxic Donald Trump in the minds of white suburban voters and portray the senator as a good-hearted conservative who really cares about the underserved. After all, right now Burr is polling ahead of both Trump and Governor McCrory, who has HB 2 as an anchor. He’d very much like to keep it that way.