Dixon children do their parts

The Baltimore Sun

Ratcheting up the cute factor several more notches, Mayor Sheila Dixon is airing a new television ad that focuses on her family, specifically her children. The 30-second spot is Dixon's sixth and the 11th overall in the race.

What the ad says: Dixon's children, Josh and Jasmine, are seen talking on a porch. "I'm Josh, the mayor's son," he begins. "Mayor?" Jasmine teases, "You mean ma?"

Josh continues: "At home, Mom always asks us a lot, makes sure we rise to the occasion." Dixon is seen standing in the front yard of the house and says, "If you don't ask much of people, you can't expect much."

Jasmine says: "Sure, she set the bar high, but never so high we couldn't reach it." Back to Dixon in the front yard: "As a former teacher and a mom, you bet I expect a lot. Asking tough questions of one another and holding ourselves accountable."

Josh and Jasmine are seen back on the porch. In mock exasperation, they say in unison: "Welcome to our world." A male narrator concludes, "Demanding more. Delivering results. Sheila Dixon. Mayor."

The facts: There is virtually nothing to fact-check in this ad. The children are hers. But the campaign acknowledges that the house was borrowed from a supporter because it has a porch.

Analysis: Dixon's latest spot is playful and serves not only to humanize the mayor, but also to wrap her reputation for toughness around a more caring persona. It is pure personality - lacking any facts or policy pronouncements - but its feel-good message will almost certainly appeal to voters.

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