Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania Man in a Button Down | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania Man in a Button Down

A series where we review Pa. political ads as if they were movies

How many variations of a button down with the sleeves slightly rolled up do you need to have before your audience is officially bored?

Conor Lamb recently dropped a new campaign ad (or, as we like to call it, a politician-produced short film), but first, we’re taking a look at the prequel. Pennsylvania Democrat, Lamb’s first ad for his Pa. Senate campaign, is a Lifetime movie. You have no problem with it, and you then forget it the absolute second you’re done with it. Seriously, Pennsylvania Democrat is a declaration of fact, not a title of your ad in the biggest race of your life. Yes, Conor, we know you are, in fact, a Democrat from the state of Pennsylvania.

The ad itself is as run-of-the-mill as its source. We open on Conor Lamb, Pennsylvania Democrat, in a close-up that still allows us to see just enough of his elite button-down game. He then leads off with, “I’ve always considered myself a Pennsylvania Democrat” as “Conor Lamb, Pennsylvania Democrat” is listed to his side. Really revolutionary stuff here.


Then we get all the classics. Lamb walking solemnly with workers of various backgrounds. Shots of hard hats and orange vests, but don’t worry, Lamb’s shirt is still impeccably tucked in. Inane phrases like, “Our democracy was born in the coal mines as much as the Constitution.”

Sometimes when you get your shot at the big budget, the studio asks you to play it as safe as possible, and that’s certainly what’s happening here. There’s nothing to critique because there’s nothing there. No interesting camera moves, no drastic and insane flourishes that make you wonder if this gentleman is even mentally fit to run for office. No, Lamb’s ad is simply there. A Lifetime movie, but not even a Christmas Lifetime movie with an interesting love story thrown in. Just Lamb, a Pennsylvania Democrat with his button down.

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