Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst and former male, has released her first campaign ad in her attempt to become a Democratic senator in Maryland. It is about as bad as you might expect. The ad is included below.
Manning was convicted in 2013, when she was Bradley Manning, of giving sensitive Army intelligence secrets to Wikileaks. President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence just before he left office, and now Manning has filed to run in the Democratic Senatorial primary, challenging sitting Senator Ben Cardin.
It seems obvious that Manning doesn’t have a large campaign budget, as part of the ad was recorded on an iPhone, and lots of stock footage was used. It also includes a number of shots of Manning walking and standing, looking angry and determined. And at one point, holding a rose.
Manning provides the voiceover for the ad, which is not a good thing, as her voice is not exactly worthy of oration. In addition, her attempt to be overly-dramatic comes off as extremely amateurish. As for content, one shot of the White House is inexplicably shown in reverse, with water going into the White House fountain, while a person in front of the residence is seen walking backwards. It does not appear to be intentional.
In the ad, Manning talks about taking back power for the people, and uses the campaign slogan “We Got This.”
Chelsea Manning has released the first campaign ad in her bid for a Maryland Senate seat.
The transgender activist and former soldier filed to run for Senate on Thursday, but confirmed the bid with a campaign ad she posted to Twitter on Sunday.
“We live in trying times. Times of fear, of suppression, hate,” Manning says as images of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and protesters clashing with police are shown.
“We don’t need more or better leaders, we need someone willing to fight,” she continues.
The ad then shows images of lawmakers, including Democrats meeting with President Trump.
“We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves, we need to actually take the reins of power from them,” Manning says.
“We need to challenge this at every level. We need to fix this. We don’t need them anymore, we can do better.”
“You’re damn right we got this,” she says to end the ad, using her well-known hashtag #WeGotThis.
Manning also tweeted a link for campaign contributions.
Manning will run against Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in the November Democratic primary.
The whistleblower was sentenced to 35 years for releasing confidential military and State Department documents, but former President Obama commuted her sentence to seven years, leading to her release in 2017.
Manning has been a visible activist for LGBTQ rights and other causes since her release. She would become the first openly transgender member of Congress if elected to the Senate.
Danica Roem became the first openly transgender state legislator with her election win in Virginia in November.
Here is the ad.