Ben Hall Says...Something in His New Mayoral Campaign Videos

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Ben Hall is running for mayor and he's running early and with videos that are that always-difficult-to-land blend of performance art, pure campaign video and something Ingmar Bergman might have put together in his spare time.

The first video ran last Wednesday, and in a move that reminded us at Hair Balls of those old Masterpiece Theatre specials, we first see Hall casually polishing his glasses.

"I'm Ben Hall, a poor country boy who is surprised and fascinated by the gifts God has given him, because I clearly don't deserve them," Hall says, with a nudge-and-a-wink look at the camera that seems to tell you he knows he earned every one of his gifts.

Most campaign TV advertisements don't start running until after Labor Day, but Hall got a jump on things by starting last week, according to KTRK. No word as to when Mayor Annise Parker's camp will start running her videos for her run at a third and final term, though her campaign did take the time to send out an e-mail asking for donations since Hall has already started the sound and pictures part of the battle for the mayoral seat. (Campaign videos always have at least a hint of the ridiculous around the edges, so we can't wait to check out hers, too.)

The Hall video, which comes in at just over a minute, gives the former city attorney's brief résumé, complete with where he went to college (Duke and Harvard Law) and his college debt (more than $100,000) before talking vaguely about the problems Houston faces without ever saying exactly what those problems are.


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70 comments
Carla J Bishop
Carla J Bishop

He probably needs a new campaign ad group. I liked him more before he started talking.

byrdexec
byrdexec

Welp...I appreciate it and looking forward to all of these wonderful comments...so, beautiful tha color of opinions...yet, are you with tha bullshit or are you on #teamequality

Puller58
Puller58 topcommenter

Look, a preacher and a lawyer?  Really?  Reminds me of a story an old timer once told me about an attorney he used to score several civil suits.  He asked him how he could preach on Sunday and be a crook the rest of the week?  His attorney replied that he could do both, and he didn't notice the old man complaining about the money he won him.  This shyster needs to vamoose...

lahtidah
lahtidah

Great. Another smug, self-loving, self-aggrandizing lawyer.  

Thomas P Carnes
Thomas P Carnes

I met Ben Hall in the 90s when he was working at John O'Quinn's law firm. He was a witness in a case I was working on, involving his time with the City. He was nice enough, and engaging. But I left that meeting believing that I had never met a man more proud and in love with himself than Ben Hall. I do not live in Houston any longer, but good luck getting to know the "real" Ben Hall; I am not sure Ben Hall even knows the real Ben Hall.

Lawrence Lamb
Lawrence Lamb

I got the feeling of Dr. Evil from Austin Powers.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

Ever notice you don't see this guy and that Gus dude from Breaking Bad in the same room?

Donna Moore Wall
Donna Moore Wall

True, but folks are still talking, and you know who he is that;s half the battle. By the way if i lived in Houston i would vote for Mayor Parker.

Susan Terry-Wilhelm
Susan Terry-Wilhelm

Much ado about nothing. Sorry. He says nothing that makes me think he can solve the city's problems. That being said, neither has Parker. I am ready to hear some facts and pathways to solutions before I show my hand at this point. I don't want to jump on the "anyone but Parker" bandwagon because sometimes you don't know what can jump out from behind the curtain. So my challenge to all candidates -- go direct to the issue and give me a pathway to solution. And -- if I can be so bold - start with answering the question as to why our fire and police departments are under paid in comparisons to other major cities, but yet we can fund a bicycle program and a farmer's market downtown that do little for the city's general population. Not deeply concerned about paying for a Sustainabilty director in the first place.

WomanBearPig
WomanBearPig

Why is Khambrel Marshall running for mayor?

Lea Brice Hougland
Lea Brice Hougland

This guy doesn't even pay his own taxes on time! He pays them late every single year. How is he supposed to be in charge of allocating an entire city's taxes?

Charles Adams
Charles Adams

he's definitely a conservative republican...

Greta Kirkland
Greta Kirkland

It's to keep us interested, which is not an easy thing to do.

Marc Furi
Marc Furi

You have to admit the ad is funny.

Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

Don't like the direction Parker has taken the city. She only focuses on improving the area inside the loop while the areas outside deteriorate and crumble. However, this guy doesn't seem to have anything to bring to the table either beside some talk about building elevated trains, which would never happen. Hope a 3rd candidate appears soon...

Jody Pitts
Jody Pitts

its a negative ad w/o being a negative ad. He gets mud-sling w/o actually doing any mud slinging. He can claim he just stated facts but there was a definite confrontational element and negative implications to his ad. if that is the 1st volley of his media campaign I think we can expect much worse

Mike Critelli
Mike Critelli

The ad is unusual and strange, designed to get you talking about it (him). I think it did that, but sorry, you only have a couple seconds to get our attention...and you just wasted it.

David Ross
David Ross

Well, maybe. But a lot of the conversation is about the strangeness of the ad, not the qualities of the person ... and I think people will get mighty tired of that preacherly, scolding tone.

Elisa Flores
Elisa Flores

I think its just a way to get us talking and to know a little about him...hopefully more will come out later as to where he stands on the issues!

Finnegans Opinions
Finnegans Opinions

He does some talking. But, does he say anything? I don't see any "Issues" or "Solutions" tab on his site. No events are listed. So far, I see nothing but... neh nee neh nee boo boo! I'm not you.

Amy McMullen
Amy McMullen

Well, you have to say he's got a long row to hoe to beat Miss Parker! She's a Good Mayor!

ecor
ecor

Mayor Parker has been one of our worst Mayor's in recent memory.  At neighborhood meetings people ask why the potholes are no longer fixed in a timely manner.  Calling 311 no longer addresses this specific day to day issue.  This type of issue affects everyone!  I've waited weeks for some to be fixed only to find out my 311 request was closed so that their metrics will look as if things are being accomplished.  This is not the way to run a city.

Brian Chestnut
Brian Chestnut

He couldn't have cleaned his glasses before the commercial started?

Dylan Osborne
Dylan Osborne

So far, the only strategy he seems to have is: "Hey black folks, I am black too, and not a lesbian, so vote for me. Hey Republicans, I am not a lesbian, so vote for me." I can't tell if he is conservative or liberal, or just ambitious.

Becci Himes
Becci Himes

Well said, my friend. I've actually asked a point bank, yes or no answer question to the man and it's like crickets out there.

Sara Meyn Holder
Sara Meyn Holder

Its confusing, but I am interested in learning more about him.. I am not a fan of Annise and think we need new leadership in the city.

Donna Moore Wall
Donna Moore Wall

It is different than the usual political ad, it gets your attention, and now we are talking about it, so i think he accomplished what he wanted to.

Phillip Byron
Phillip Byron

I can't stand that damn ad. He doesn't say a damn thing about what problems he see's facing Houston that he wants to address. I couldn't tell if he was running for Mayor or if he was speaking to us as if we were in his church with him sitting behind the Pastor's desk. What the hell was the point of him polishing his eyeglasses as soon as the ad begins? Then he gives us the clasped prayer hands throughout the ad. I am voting for Annise Parker. When I posted on my FB page 2weeks ago ridiculing Ben Hall's ad, I noticed that the people that supported and loved the ad were my FB friends that were regular church going Black Christians. They loved his story and that he is a God fearing man. I pointed out that he doesn't talk about anything specifically in his ad. Then he leaves us with a weak cliffhanger "We'll talk soon" line. WTF? I am a NYC transplant living in Houston for the past several years. I have never seen a political ad like this one before. It was stupid.

Lauren MacQueen
Lauren MacQueen

It's my favo commercial. Hokey story followed by a veiled, smug, cryptic threat.

jennytulltx
jennytulltx

That last couple of lines sounds vaguely threatening, kind of like a line out of the Twilight Zone.  Not sure what he was trying to accomplish, but he was successful and creepy crawly.

Tim Dugan
Tim Dugan

he's so funeral director-ish

Puller58
Puller58 topcommenter

@Dylan Osborne Oh, he's ambitious alright.  Wouldn't be running if he wasn't.

Puller58
Puller58 topcommenter

@Phillip Byron He was trying to be "folksy."  That's kind of silly given the fact that Houston is a major metropolitan city and not a "cow town."  Frankly, Louie Welch was folksy and had the stupidity to make an AIDS/gay joke on camera.  Wonder how long till Hall has a "Welch" moment?

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