By David Smith, The Guardian, November 2019

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is well under way with a dark advert featuring dramatic music and a brutally simple message: “He’s No Mr Nice Guy.”

The commercial boasts the president is “changing Washington”, uses dubious statistics to tout his record on the economy and immigration and goes on the offensive against Democrats.

However, the ad has been greeted mostly with grudging praise even from some Democrats as an effective harbinger of the likely message Trump’s campaign will hone in the coming 2020 presidential election.

David Plouffe, former campaign manager for Barack Obama, tweeted: “Donald Trump ad that just ran during World Series was quite strong. National TV ads in October of off year – unprecedented.”

Michael Cornfield, an associate professor of political management at George Washington University, added: “Men of action don’t have time for niceties like facts and rules. And neither do 30-second ads. Effective angle for any incumbent – even this one.”

The ad is hardly subtle.

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