Obama's First General Election Ad

Obama's campaign just sent out their first general election ad - a 60-second bio spot called "Country I Love." It hits familiar themes like Obama's single-parent upbringing and his decision to become a community organizer:

The campaign also announced the states where the ad will run: Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia.

This list shows some good, broad muscle-flexing. We've already heard about campaign infrastructure in states like Georgia, and running a 60-second bio ad in a state is a good way to show an opponent and the press that you mean business.

Perhaps Alaska was thrown in for good measure, since TV time is pretty cheap. We can believe it's really on Obama's target list when he makes the trip up there.

And off the top of my head, only one state seems conspicuously absent: Minnesota. SUSA's latest has Obama ahead only one point there.

Update [2008-6-19 13:18:7 by Josh Orton]: Some feedback from Minnesota people in the comments - I admit that the internals of the latest SUSA are funky (they've got McCain and Obama tied 48-48 among 18-34 year-olds, for example). And the past two Rasmussen polls have Obama up by 10+.

Tags: Barack Obama, Election 08 (all tags)



We all need

to go to youtube and rec and fav this video!

by kevin22262 2008-06-19 08:58AM | 0 recs
Now Is The Time

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snsnqbq_O Co

Obama Opts Out of  General Electino Public Finance - Independent from Broken System

by dearreader 2008-06-19 09:11AM | 0 recs

SUSA has it close, but they're the only one.  All non-SUSA polls have it 12+ and the crosstabs made it an obvious outlier (McCain winning the youth vote and the Twin City vote by good margins).

by PantsB 2008-06-19 08:58AM | 0 recs

With this many states it seems going national might be more cost effective.  Does anyone have the numbers on that?

by Mark Matson 2008-06-19 09:05AM | 0 recs

Student Guy ran an expose on that poll; it uses a very biased collaborator (our local Fox affliate) and the internals look wacky; I can corroborate that it looks funky, given that I live here, and we're most certainly Obama country.

As for Alaska, supposedly he's going to hit every state with a personal appearance at some point, so I don't find it hard to believe that he's going to make it there.  I imagine that a trip to Anchorage would be well worth the time, if only to make McCain sweat.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-19 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

another Minnesotan here and I too agree I don't trust SUSA MN numbers, this is Obama country, he will take this state

by TruthMatters 2008-06-19 09:10AM | 0 recs
Supertuesday spoke volumes...

Supertuesday still mattered for the Republican side of the voting. Though McCain seemed poised towards the nomination at that point, there was still a chance to change that.The Republican faithful had every reason to turn out and push for their candidate. Yet, the Democratic turnout was 4-5 times larger than the Republicans statewide.

Obama won by a massive margin in every county, and McCain came in second. In short, Obama's already won (enough of) us over here; really unlikely to be a battle ground. I'd expect something like a 15+ point or more win.

Trying to woo people with Pawlenty as the VP is probably the only way to make this any sort of battleground. Even then it's a longshot.

by GP In Minnesota 2008-06-19 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

Great ad.

I don't think Minnesota is a real battleground state , although I suspect just for measure if Mccain and the RNC funds have the funds they would like to make Obama play defense there .

But campaign strategy is something I am entirely comfortable with when it comes to Obama's campaign .

They know what they are doing.

by lori 2008-06-19 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

agree, lori.

They'll make their share of mistakes, but I feel more confident with this candidate and his campaign staff's strategy than I ever was with the last two Democratic nominees.

(And this is not a judgement of the value of the respective candidates, just a comment on the strength of the campaign as a whole.)

by JoeW 2008-06-19 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

I defer to the experts on whether this ad might be effective in reassuring people and underscoring his patriotism. I'll merely note that a Republican presidential candidate could run the same ad.

by david mizner 2008-06-19 09:48AM | 0 recs

but I think it was what Obama needed to do.

People want to like him, to vote for him, but some still need this kind of "introduction."

by JoeW 2008-06-19 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: True,

It's S.O.P. for a candidate to run an "introduction" ad after the primaries.  I assume McCain would do the same if he had any $$$.

by ihaveseenenough 2008-06-19 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: True,

He has been doing it for a while now .

He has run about 3 biographical ads now if I recall correctly.

by lori 2008-06-19 10:38AM | 0 recs
Could be

And there are, admittedly, a couple dog whistles to the left: the passing up Wall Street and the closing of the steel mills. Still, even though it's a general intro ad, I'd prefer something that aligned him with the Democratic brand, which after all, is extremely popular right now.

by david mizner 2008-06-19 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

I think its great when a politician talks about his/her love for the country .

He talked about patriotism in a way that was refreshing and real in that ad , I like it.

by lori 2008-06-19 09:58AM | 0 recs

I don't think presidential candidates, Republicans or Democrats, should feel obligated to talk about their love of country. If they're running for President of the United States, I kind of figured a certain level of patriotism was implied. These ads are normal in any political campaign, but I'd rather hear about policies, not love of country.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying patriotism is a bad thing. I'm saying that it isn't necessary to wave the flag in my face to prove your credentials. Love of country is my minimum expectation. I'd rather not have to have my political leaders work to prove that they meet my minimum expectation, I'd rather have then work to live up to my highest expectations.

by Fitzy 2008-06-19 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

Agreed. This is clearly aimed at swing voters and Reagan Democrats by pushing against the worst Democratic stereotypes (committed to welfare queens, unpatriotic, lacks values etc.) and introducing himself to general election voters who might not have been quite as tuned in during the primary.

by AC4508 2008-06-19 10:08AM | 0 recs
yeah, it's sad...

that Obama has to run such a soft "I love my country" ad (a foreshadowing of what we will see at the Democratic convention).  But we live in a country where 18% of people think the sun revolves around the earth and 30% approve of the job that George Bush has done as President. The irony is that the single greatest motivation of many ardent Obama supporters is patriotism.

This election is shaping up to be a referendum about Barack Obama.  People don't want to vote for McCain but they will unless they are comfortable with Obama.  

PS- I'm glad that Axelrod and the AKP&D gang are prominently including older voters in the ads.  You have to talk to and include these voters in the campaign if you want to win them over.

by mboehm 2008-06-19 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah, it's sad...

What is sad about a politician talking about his love for the country ?

I think democrats have missed the boat in a lot of presidential elections on this issue , this is not some philosophical argument  .

Its great he is talking about it.

The ad is great.

by lori 2008-06-19 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah, it's sad...

Since you and I often disagree, I wanted to let you know that I think you're 100% correct on this issue.  Obama really does love this country.  So do I and 99.9% of all progressive democrats.  Why not say that in an add?  It makes good sense to celebrate what's great about this country, while at the same time making sure that we live up to our own promise.  

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah, it's sad...

I agree with you wholeheartedly .

Its not a minus when a politician talks about patriotism/love of country , its a huge plus for me.

Infact there is not enough of it . Most times all we hear is gloom and doom.

Sure we have been on wrong track in the past 7 years , but why not celebrate what has inspired about the country as a politician.

He made the ad in ways that was genuine and talked about his love for the country in ways most would relate to.

by lori 2008-06-19 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah, it's sad...

I agree completely. We've let Republicans frame us as the "blame America first" crowd. I don't think we should ever cede patriotism to the Repubs, on the assumption that no one would actually believe the dem candidate was unpatriotic. It's obvious that the Obama campaign learned some serious lessons from what was done to Max Cleland and John Kerry.

by jadegirl 2008-06-19 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

Great ad. Obama is brilliant. Although I don't think the head shot was very flattering. He has better angels, up the nostrils isn't his best.

by dMarx 2008-06-19 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

Ah, yes, the better angels of our nature...oh, you mean angles?  I don't think Lincoln had much to say about those...he wasn't exactly photogenic.

by mephjeff 2008-06-19 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

I heard Doris Kearns Goodwin quote Lincoln yesterday in response to someone telling him he was two-faced. "If I was two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"  :-)

by jadegirl 2008-06-19 01:28PM | 0 recs
Obama's going to crush McCain in Minnesota.

Even in our more conservative congressional districts.  I predict Obama takes EVERY CD in Minnesota.

by lojasmo 2008-06-19 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's going to crush McCain in Minnesota.

Thats a way too optimistic prediction , Obama would win minnesota but Mccain seems to be popular there because of his " independent " image.

by lori 2008-06-19 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's going to crush McCain in Minnesota.

We're going to have to agree do disagree.  Do you live here?

by lojasmo 2008-06-19 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's going to crush McCain in Minnesota.

I have spoken to quite a few Minnesotans who hold the opposite few of what you just said .

I prefer to go by polling and the recent polling I have seen doesn't show a crushing victory like you predicted . ( As far as him winning even all the conservative district , that seems like a stretch to me in light of the polling ).

Like I said I expect him to win , but we will have to agree to disagree

by lori 2008-06-19 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's going to crush McCain in Minnesota.

Well, I live in one of those 'conservative districts'  In fact, in my county, we have elected three democrats in the last two elections to our state house (for the first time in thirty years) and also, we elected a democrat to congress for the first time in at least twelve years.

I guess we'll disagree, but from the perspective of one who lives here, and understands the dynamics, I'm going to have to say I'm probably right.

by lojasmo 2008-06-19 11:34AM | 0 recs
Love the ad

It hits the points that Obama is biracial, has family values (mid-western, Kansas), loves America, believes in tax cuts for working people, believes in getting people off welfare to work, believes in taking care of veterans, etc.

Complete with a flag pin.


by puma 2008-06-19 10:02AM | 0 recs

i know this sounds terrible, but I think the fact that it shows him with old white people that are actually related to him is going to help.

there's a quote about obama from one of his law school classmates that whenever he gave his opinion on something controversial, it always sounded like he agreed with you.

i feel like watching this ad, blacks and Caucasians alike can feel like they relate to his background.  

by ab03 2008-06-19 10:04AM | 0 recs
that one picture

where he looks like he's 3 sitting with his grandfather is especially powerful.  the color is a little messed up (just cause it's an old photo) and you really can't see the difference in color between the two.  just a kid and his everyman grandpa.  

by ab03 2008-06-19 10:07AM | 0 recs

Marc Ambinder is reporting that McCain is allegedly thinking about flip-flopping on drilling in ANWR.  Rasmussen and James Carville showed Obama trailing by four and two, respectively, in polls taken this week.  Perhaps McCain's internals are confirming that he is actually at at risk in Alaska and he needed the ANWR flip-flop to put away the state.

by Blazers Edge 2008-06-19 10:08AM | 0 recs

That's really interesting, although I doubt Alaska would be the motivation for the flip.  He just wants to hammer his faux populist pitch on gas prices, and his current ANWR views hinder that a bit.  

Then again, adding to his ever growing collection of flip-flops has some risks as well, if the media got there heads out of his ass long enough to notice.

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 10:15AM | 0 recs

I would rathe take the hit to the flip flopper side than hold out on ANWR with gas prices this high.

by dMarx 2008-06-19 10:22AM | 0 recs

Of course it's lousy policy, and won't affect gas prices at all, but who cares about that stuff...

Personally, I think obama is sufficiently skilled that he can win this debate.  Time will tell.

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 10:37AM | 0 recs
Wont affect gas

That is the tack the Dems need to keep taking.  Opening up ANWR will not lower Gas prices.  At best, it will put more money into the pockets of big oil.

We need to find more alternatives.  

I would be more worried about the nuclear plant issue.  I think that is something that could hurt Obama if were to stick with no new nuclear plants.    

He needs to stick to it McCain on that issue by bringing up the fact that McCain would be willing to lower safety standards in order to build so many plants.

by monkeyga 2008-06-19 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Wont affect gas

America understands the law of supply and demand.

They know that more drilling means more supply of oil.

They know that more nuclear power plants means less demand for oil.

So while we can tell them that no one oil well will lower the price of oil they know that the cumulative effect of such policies is less supply.

Ethanol is the worst possible answer.

If you increase supply and lower demand prices drop. Voters know that.

by dMarx 2008-06-19 12:07PM | 0 recs


Here in California gas is getting close to $5.00 per gallon.  If I was McCain I would have flip flopped yesterday.

There are just so many ways to rationalize the change in position.  

Then again, if I was Obama I would have flip flopped on the 16th month withdrawal from Iraq. It is a no-brainer.  His base isn't going to abandon him and it would take the single justification for voting McCain off the table.  Sheesh Obama, easiest move since throwing Rev. Wright under the bus.

by dMarx 2008-06-19 10:18AM | 0 recs

Interesting that you mention California.  If McCain does indeed flip-flop on ANWR, I suspect he'll flip-flop on the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage if he's trailing Obama in the polls in September.  He probably has a lot of confidence in his "maverick" brand, so he feels free to verve to the far-right.  Obama running to the center (somewhere Big Daddy is smoking a cigar laughing at the Dailykos people) is a smart move on his part.

by Blazers Edge 2008-06-19 10:21AM | 0 recs
Off-shore drilling in California

will NEVER happen.

Both California Senators (Feinstein, Boxer) and the Republican Governor said that there will be NO off-shore drilling.

So McCain's stance on drilling is NOT going to matter here in California.

by puma 2008-06-19 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Off-shore drilling in California

That will change.  At $5 a gallon it will change so fast it will make your head spin.

by dMarx 2008-06-19 12:09PM | 0 recs

yes, I love the fact that he points out that his family comes from Kansas.   Liberals can come from the mid-west and carry those 'mid-west' values into liberal policy positions.

I think it is great that he is defining himself this way, before the GOP can keep smearing him and trying to define him as some radical foreign manchurian like candidate.

by monkeyga 2008-06-19 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

It was good to see Obama show the "white" side of his family. This may do more to sway some rural voters who have only seen Obama as a "black" man.

by Hempy 2008-06-19 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

Anyone notice that the part of the ad with Obama speaking in front of the White House style windows?  Think that was intentional?  You bet it was.

by agpc 2008-06-19 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's First General Election Ad

Actually, I think We're all Democrats.......I haven't had a single discussion on this issue from anyone .....I'd be pleasantly suport  the man who is really democratics.

by analyfjks 2008-06-22 06:18PM | 0 recs


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