By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a late-comer to the 2020 Democratic presidential race, is making a gamble that a majority of football fans will side with him on gun control.
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Bloomberg’s campaign has purchased a 60-second slot during Sunday’s Super Bowl game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami that features a grieving mother who lost a son to gun violence.
According to The New York Times, the Bloomberg campaign said it hopes to “stop people in their tracks” with the emotional ad.
The paper adds:
In the minute-long ad, which the campaign released on Thursday, Calandrian Kemp tells the story of her son, George Kemp Jr., as the camera pans across childhood pictures of George in football gear. He was shot and killed in 2013 during an altercation while he was at mechanic school; he was 20.
“I just kept saying, you cannot tell me that the child I gave birth to is no longer here,” Ms. Kemp says, her voice breaking. The screen then shows white text on a black background: “2,900 children die from gun violence every year.”
That figure has been cited by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group primarily financed by Mr. Bloomberg.
Kemp goes onto praise Bloomberg’s gun control advocacy, naturally.
“I know Mike is not afraid of the gun lobby — they’re scared of him,” she says. “And they should be.”
The ad is scheduled to air between the end of the halftime show and the beginning of the third quarter, the campaign said, according to the Times — or exactly when fans will begin tuning in again for the continuation of the game.
Fox Sports estimates that around 100 million people will tune in to this year’s Super Bowl, a figure in line with recent games.
Showing such an emotional ad involving a very controversial issue — far more people die each year from self-inflicted gunshots than by ‘gun violence’ — during one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, if not the most anticipated, is a gamble, especially if the game is close and fans are really into it.
Also, the Super Bowl has a long history of featuring light-hearted, funny ads; showing one that is patently political and a definite downer to boot is risky. A upbeat ad focusing on American patriotism, including love of football, and how the candidate can improve upon the many good things about the country would be a better approach for Bloomberg.
But he didn’t consult us.
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Bloomberg has committed his fortune to winning the Democratic nomination this year so he can face off against an increasing popular fellow New Yorker, President Trump. We’ll see if this is a good use of his money.
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