A couple of days after a tough 24-hour stretch for John Kitzhaber, the Democratic gubernatorial candidatehas released his first TV ad of the general election a little more than three months before the November ballot in Oregon.
1) Befitting most initial ads in a campaign, the emphasis is on the positive in this spot, which the ex-governor's campaign says will run in Portland, Eugene, Bend, and Medford on network and cable TV. Kitzhaber never mentions Republican Chris Dudley (though the ad—and the campaign's news release accompanying the ad—get a subtle dig in at a transplant like Dudley by noting Kitzhaber grew up in Oregon). Instead, the 60-second ad titled "Looking Forward" features beautiful images of Oregon and a humble Kitzhaber making a post-partisan appeal with his introductory remarks that “This isn't about being a Democrat, or being a Republican, or being an Independent. It's about being an Oregonian."
2) One Oregonian I recognized from the opening 10 seconds of the ad is Caitlin Baggott, the Bus Project's education and strategic director (and full disclosure, also a friend of mine from our work together on Candidates Gone Wild).
3) Kitzhaber's emphasis on "looking forward" comes the same day that The Oregonian published this op-ed piece by Republican Jack Roberts that very decidedly—and dubiously—looks back at Kitzhaber's past statements as a candidate and actions as a governor.