RPTV Friday Flashback: John Y. Brown’s Campaign Ads (1995)

In early 1995, one of my best friends, David Hale (now U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky) called me to see if I would help the campaign for Secretary of State of his law school classmate, John Y. Brown, III. I was certainly aware of Brown’s dad, the former chicken magnate and Governor, but my parents had opposed Brown Jr.’s last campaign, opting instead to support some guy named Steve Beshear.

Still, I was bored working as an associate for a big Washington law firm; David made a compelling case; and John, upon meeting, seemed like a nice, well-meaning, intelligent guy.

Somehow, as the only one in the room with a modicum of campaign experience, I was enlisted, pro bono, as the campaign’s media consultant. I wrote and directed a series of ads that, while extraordinarily amateurish, apparently didn’t hurt Brown too bad — he won both the primary and general elections by wide margins.

As you watch them, notice John’s delivery — I was so enamored with my too-long scripts, that I forced him to rush through them like the guy in the old Federal Express commercials

Most importantly, watch for the international television debut of my future running mate, John Y. Brown, IV, whose newfound mobility skills inspired the ad, and whose telegenic appearance cannot be underestimated for its vote-accruing effect:


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