Freddy’s Third Guru

A few days ago, The Politicker referred to Ellis Verdi, Freddy’s new adman, as having had an “abortive cameo” in Hillary Clinton’s 2000 race, which isn’t quite right, and which is a reminder about not being glib about stuff one doesn’t know that much about.

Verdi, who now seems to be one of a few new hands, had more than a cameo on the campaign, producing an ad which got attention Upstate by casting Rick Lazio as an ostrich on the topic of the local economy, accompanied by a guy in an ostrich suit at Lazio events.

The “abortive” reference, though, was to an interesting little fight within the Clinton campaign in which Verdi was on the losing side. As Mike Tomasky writes in his book on the race, Verdi wanted Clinton to address some of the knocks on her, notably “carpetbagger,” directly.

He proposed, for example, a spot that showed her policy agenda emerging from a carpetbag.

But Clinton’s main media advisors, Mandy Grunwald and Mark Penn, pushed back, and persuaded Clinton to stick with a more traditional media campaign.

“Penn and Grunwald’s strategy was not a great hit with the press,” Tomasky notes. “But it’s the voters who matter.”

Which is to say that we in the press are looking forward to Freddy’s next round of ads.