Skip to comments.Figure of Speech: Meet the voice behind some of the GOP's most effective advertising
Posted on 09/25/2008 11:47:00 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
YOU HEAR THE VOICE FIRST Bob Jump's website lists him as the "secret voiceover talent" for the "Both Ways Barack" attack ad, paid for by 527 group Let Freedom Ring
When Marvin Bush, the youngest son of George Herbert Walker and Barbara Bush, celebrated his 50th birthday in 2006, party planners commissioned a short "mockumentary" to entertain guests in the White House ballroom. Here was Marvin in college; there was Marvin in Texas! A prominent basso voice narrated each moment from the little Bush's life. Seated near the celebrant's mother was Rick Reed, who, when not making Bush home movies, is a partner in Stevens Reed, the GOP media firm that brought America "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." As the parody wrapped to loud applause, Barbara reportedly leaned over toward Reed and exclaimed, "That was just wonderful. Was that Walter Cronkite?"
That voice she heard was actually voiceover actor Bob Jump. Over the past nine years, Bob has found favor with powerful GOP ad men like Reed through his accelerating support for Republican candidates and causes. He's cut ads for conservative congresspeople such as Mike Pence, Jim Jordan, and Marilyn Musgrave, the Republican National Committee, and right-wing organizations like Focus on the Family and the Economic Freedom Fund. You may have heard Bob's voice before, perhaps sassing liberal opponents for "talkin' the talk but not walkin' the walk." To hear his impassioned, sometimes indignant delivery in 2008 is to hear a manand the conservative movement he's pledged to speak forrefuse to go gently into the good night.
"You're the first person I've ever had in here," Bob confesses, with a sort of wonder, as I'm about enter his home recording studio in Norfolk, Virginia. Inside his fantasia: a boom mike, remote transmission equipment, and soundproof walls. Every nontechnical item is purple or red, from the lava lamp to the swirling circular rug. Are the kitschy colors political? I ask. "I was on acid when I designed this place," he jokes, with a six-shooting finger. We laugh. Bob is like that.
During his time as a commercial voiceover, he's been caught "pushing the limits of friiiiied chicken" for Popeyes, hawking Smuckers, and lending gravitas to the Jason Bourne franchise ("He tried to warn them. ... They should have listened.") So shame is hard to come by. His website has a separate page featuring a comically mustachioed "Cowboy Bob," who affects a rural twang for companies like Caterpillar or Chevrolet. As Bob walks and talks me through the rooms in his capacious home, it's startling to hear his hammy warble leaped straight from the movie trailers. (As one satisfied producer in Arizona put it: "We love Bob's voice so much because when he says words like 'divorce' and 'bankruptcy,' it doesn't seem so bad.")
When it comes to today's increasingly nasty, say-anything political messaging, such guileless dissembling has never been in greater demand. Bob once cut campaign ads for all comers. But in the wake of a thumping victory for President Bush and congressional Republicans in 2004, Bob made a steep bet as to where the political winds were blowing.
"There was something calling me to the Republican Party," he says, with a hint of pride. "I was being told to take a stand."
In a world where.... One man stood out.
He’s a veritable chameleon!
A vast range in different styles. He can even sound like the “J. Peterman” guy.
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