Perhaps as a warm-up to his 30-minute network buys coming this Wednesday night, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has released two new campaign ads this weekend as the presidential campaign enters the final stretch.
The first ad, released yesterday in key battleground states, hearkens back to Obama's very effective ads at the onset of the financial crisis. It's a two minute-ad -- very long by television standards -- and according to a press release, asks:
“are you better off than you were four years ago?” We know the answer to that. The real question is will our country be better off four years from now? The ad includes Senator Obama telling America how we will lift our economy and restore America’s place in the world.
Watch "Defining Moment" here:
The second ad, released today, is less about a positive Obama agenda and more negative about U.S. Sen. John McCain. Says the Obama campaign in a statement: America needs a president that will change the economy, not the subject. You can see "New Subject" here:
Joe the Plumber is back. As readers may recall, JTP made his prime time debut last night during the final presidential debate between U.S. Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama. There was no doubt who the winner of that debate was -- yep. It was one Joe Wurzelbacher, who McCain invoked as an everyday guy just trying to get ahead -- a guy who would be crushed by an Obama Administration and its inevitable overflow of taxes.
My able deputy, Dan Boscov-Ellen, kept us updated -- and enthralled -- throughout the day. Seems Joe is no ordinary plumber. Heck, he doesn't even have a plumbing license. Worried about his taxes? Heck, he doesn't pay 'em. Oh, and what about being related to Charles Keating (of the Keating Five scandal that ensnared McCain)? Won't say who he'll vote for? He's a Republican.
Joe was an overnight -- if slightly sinking -- sensation. As my good friend Toby Harnden, U.S editor for the Telegraph reported:
"By the middle of Friday morning, Mr Wurzelbacher was in the top 10 searches on Google and had already been given an honoured place in the stump speech of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, Mr McCain's running mate. But the country's most sought-after media "get" was nowhere to be found. His mobile phone was turned off and he was said to be en route to New York for what a local news editor described darkly as a 'paid interview.'"
Apparently, some alarm bells had gone off inside the McCain campaign about the wisdom of using Joe as a human prop -- was he a PR pressure tank? But that hasn't stopped the campaign from turning the faucets full-on.
That's right. The McCain campaign has launched a new ad starring -- Joe the Plumber, which attacks Obama on -- taxes! While Obama is spending record amounts on TV ads, this new buy may drain McCain's relatively small budget, but you can watch "Joe the Plumber" here:
With just 25 days left until Election Day, the airwaves and Web video are getting increasingly cluttered -- and increasingly ugly.
U.S. Sen. John McCain's campaign has two new guilt-by-association ads out, both questioning U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's motives and judgement.
One, a new Web ad, seeks to tie Obama to ACORN, a community organizing group under investigation for voter fraud. The McCain camp held a conference call today with reporters today to call for a federal investigation of Obama's alleged ties to the group. The ad does away with any such niceties and makes its own assertions:
The New York Times, which calls the second McCain spot "...a paint-peeling advertisement that highlights Mr. Obama’s relationship to Bill Ayers, one of the Weather Underground founders," reports: "The campaign says the commercial will air nationally. So far this morning, using the television monitoring service ShadowTV, we have found that it has only been shown by news programs — once on MSNBC and once on WINK-TV in Florida – and has not run yet as a paid commercial."
Two major articles in today's Washington Post and New York Timesfocus in-depth on how the nation's worsening economy is presenting new opportunities -- and new challenges -- for the campaigns of U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain.
It looks like things were going McCain's way after the GOP convention -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had electrified the base, Obama was losing ground and the Arizona senator took a slim lead.
Then the nation's finanical markets crashed, Palin-mania has subsided as many Americans didn't like what they've seen post-St. Paul and Democrats traditionally do better with pocketbook issues.
Now McCain has pulled out of Michigan and Obama is competitive in traditionally red states like Florida where foreclosures are epidemic; nationally, the economic news just keeps getting worse.
Amidst all of this, yesterday, I picked up a book, "Deer Hunting with Jesus" by Joe Bageant. It is in turn fascinating, frightening and depressing. The book addresses a question that has always bothered me: why do people who are so clearly hurt by the GOP's economic policies keep voting for them again and again and again? Another article in today's Washington Post highlights the economic struggles of a suburban Michigan enclave and focues on why, while some people there may vote for Obama, others struggling to make ends meet are still planning to vote for McCain, despite the fact that his economic proposals do nothing to help them or their children.
Until progressives find a way to reach the voters written about in "Deer Hunting with Jesus" and the Washington Post article, we will continue to lose their votes because they will continue to vote, not on economic issues, but social "hot button issues" such as abortion, guns and sex education. And, sadly, as many of them admitted, they simply will not vote for an African-American candidate. All in all, it is not their failure, but our failure, to explain to them how we will not allow globalization to leave them behind; how we will invest in their education; how we will ready them as we accelerate toward a 21st century economy.
In 2007, NDN conducted a series of polls on the how Americans view the economy. They are well worth reading here and here. I know I will be looking at them for answers.
Lastly, in what can be at best called a sophmoric effort to change the subject, the McCain campaign said yesterday that:
We are looking for a very aggressive last 30 days," said Greg Strimple, one of McCain's top advisers. "We are looking forward to turning a page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama's aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans." "We're going to get a little tougher," a senior Republican operative said, indicating that a fresh batch of television ads is coming. "We've got to question this guy's associations. Very soon. There's no question that we have to change the subject here," said the operative, who was not authorized to discuss strategy and spoke on the condition of anonymity. [Washington Post, 10/04/08]
In response, the Obama campaign has launched a new ad on the economy, highlighting what has happened over the last eight years during the Bush-Cheney reign.
Following the debate, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign was in the production studio late last night and this morning, the team is ready with its first post-debate ad, "Zero."
While last night's debate was billed as a foreign policy forum, all eyes are focused on America's ailing economy and the meltdown of its financial markets. The new Obama ad brings the larger debate back to the economy by criticizing U.S. Sen. John McCain for his failure to mention the "middle class" once during the 90-minute debate. It's a clever ad, aimed at showing that McCain just doesn't get it when it comes to the financial struggles of everyday people.
Incidentally, in the CNN poll Simon mentioned earlier, 58 percent of the respondents thought Obama would handle the economy better, versus 37 percent for McCain. In a CBS post-debate poll, we see similar numbers on the economy: 66 percent surveyed thought Obama would make the right decisions about the economy; 44 thought McCain would do so.
Just as Republicans have traditionally won out on national security issues in polling contests, Democrats have fared better than Republicans when it comes to economic issues. However, in the last few weeks, McCain seemed to have been making some serious inroads into Obama's edge on the economic front.
But then last Monday happened. Wall Street started to go belly up and there was McCain, at a rally, saying our economy is fundamentally strong. The last 10 days have been a complete financial meltown for the nation and a near political meltdown for McCain. He seems to have recovered a bit last night, but only time will tell.
U.S. Sen. John McCain continues to claim the mantle of reformer despite having been a politician in DC for more than a quarter of a century. Like an old ship, he has quite a few barnicles clinging to his hull -- the lobbyist kind. Many of them have followed him over to his campaign, and it's no secret that the self-proclaimed maverick's campaign is being run by an army of lobbyists.
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign today launched a new television ad which asks Americans just what a McCain Administration might look like with all those high-dollar lobbyists in charge.