UCLA faculty voice: Campaign ads sample candidate’s own words to great effect

Lynn Vavreck, a professor of political science at UCLA, is a co-author of “The Gamble,” about the 2012 presidential campaign. This column appeared in the New York Times.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign released an ad in late September called “Mirrors.” The ad shows young girls looking carefully at themselves in a mirror or on their mobile phones. A piano tune accompanies the images. Then a surprising thing happens. Donald J. Trump, in his own voice, says, “I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers. … She’s a slob, she ate like a pig. … A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10. … Did she have a good body? No.”