Amid all the noise of an election involving Donald Trump – all the inflammatory tweets and shadowy Facebook posts – one set of ads has somehow managed to break through.
There’s the one of the US president shuffling down a ramp that declares that the president “is not well”. There’s the whispering one about Trump’s “loyalty problem” inside his White House, campaign and family.
There’s the epic Mourning in America that remakes Reagan’s election-defining 1984 ad, turning the sun-bathed suburbs into a dark national portrait of pandemic and recession. On Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, those three ads alone have racked up more than 35m views.
The Lincoln Project, run by a group of renegade Republican political consultants, has crystallized one of the core narratives of the 2020 campaign in ways that few other political commercials have in past cycles.
Its work on brutal attack ads sits alongside the swift boat veterans against John Kerry in 2004, the Willie Horton…