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Bernie Sanders' new ad draws plaudits: it doesn't mention Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, just America

A new ad for Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders wins praise today from the New York Times.

No words are spoken, apart from the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkels’ "America" and Sanders’s "I approve" statement. But none are needed, says the Times.

“For a blissful minute, the cacophony of political ads on Iowa television sets vanishes altogether,” says the NYT.

“No speeches, no slurs, only the warm harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel singing “America” can be heard, as down-to-earth Iowa landscapes and scenes of daily life accompany the famous song.”

Iowa farmers (including a small child not much bigger than the calf he carries) and city dwellers give way to mostly young people jubilantly flocking to attend his rallies. An expanding grid overtakes the screen, showing the faces of thousands of people who made online donations to Mr. Sanders’ campaign.

The Times describes it as a nontraditional offering from a decidedly nontraditional candidate.

The ad actually said plenty about how Mr. Sanders views the Democratic presidential contest says the NYT pointing out, “As politicians often say but seldom get across so viscerally, the election is ultimately about the voters.

“By turning over the microphone to Simon and Garfunkel, and aiming the camera not at Mr. Sanders so much as at Iowans generally and his admirers specifically, the ad tries to convey that “what Bernie Sanders is building is a movement in America,” as Tad Devine, his senior strategist puts it.

David Brock, who runs Correct the Record, a Clinton-aligned group, said the many views of Mr. Sanders’s large crowds showed that his following was overwhelmingly white. “From this ad, it seems black lives don’t matter much to Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Brock told AP.

The ad, created by Devine Mulvey Longabaugh, has a vastly different feel from anything else seen in the race since Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy in a hope-filled two-minute video in April 2015.

The Sanders ad has “a snowy farmhouse, whirling windmills in the gray distance,bucolic small towns. tugboats on a river, parents with their children, farmers with their cows. The Des Moines skyline, young people at work. Hay bales being tossed."

The Sanders ad, the paper points out, “strikingly contrasts with Mrs. Clinton’s own minute-long closing argument to Iowans, replete with grave warnings and bold promises.“