Obama Goes on the Air in Iowa Updated
by psericks, Mon Jun 25, 2007 at 08:56:43 AM EDT
It looks like Obama is going to be buying his first TV ads of the season in Iowa. There's an article out from the AP:
Candidates typically hold off on advertising during the slow summer months, but the warp-speed campaign has forced the 2008 contenders to rethink the traditional approach. Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Bill Richardson have run ads in Iowa -- and seen their poll numbers increase.
Obama's two biographical spots are just the start of what could be an unprecedented campaign on television...
Update [2007-6-25 16:45:32 by psericks]: State Senator Kirk Dillard --- not to be confused with state rep. Jim Durkin, McCain's legislative co-chair --- has endorsed the McCain campaign and has been confirmed today as still endorsing, as confirmed by Ben Smith of Politico. A poster on that site Rashomon makes the great point that this seems like a trend of McCain supporters having "a soft spot for Obama." Like McCain adviser and former Bushie Mark McKinnon, who said that if McCain was in the general election against Obama he would resign his position...
Dillard has been a consistent source for glowing quotes for news articles about Obama's time in the state legislature, in the Chicago Tribune, etc. (Quotes posted in the discussion thread). Another poster says that Dillard has been quoted by abcnews as saying he is still endorsing McCain but wouldn't lose any sleep at night over his children's future if Obama were to be elected.
Update [2007-6-25 17:20:52 by psericks]: (1) Dillard was one of many considered by the state GOP as a replacement for the drop-out Jack Ryan to run against Obama in 2004 for the US Senate. He was quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times as saying he thought he could beat Obama but ultimately declined to run. Links and blockquotes in the discussion threads.
(2) Jay R notes Dillard's State GOP page has a nice photo of him and Fred Thompson. Interesting... http://www.dillard.senategop.org/
(3)Lest Dillard steal the spotlight, it turns out Obama helped Laurence Tribe write an article called "The Curvature of Constitutional Space." =)
"I can't pretend that I had any idea then that he would be a serious presidential candidate -- that would have been a crazy thing for anyone to project at that stage of a career -- but he was certainly the most all-around impressive student I had seen in decades," said Laurence Tribe, a constitutional scholar at Harvard for whom Obama served as a research assistant. Obama analyzed and integrated Einstein's theory of relativity, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, as well as the concept of curved space as an alternative to gravity, for a Law Review article that Tribe wrote titled, "The Curvature of Constitutional Space."
Obama aides planned a conference call Monday to discuss the new commercials, featuring a Republican lawmaker who worked with Obama in the Illinois State Legislature and Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe.
Both Tribe and Republican Sen. Kirk Dillard are featured in the new commercials.
A 60-second commercial, called ''Choices,'' focuses on the decision Obama made after graduating from Harvard Law School, opting to turn down lucrative offers from law firms and instead move to Chicago as a community organizer.
The other 30-second spot, titled ''Carry,'' addresses Obama's work in the Illinois Legislature, where Dillard praises him for pushing ethics legislation, expanding child care and health coverage and supporting tax credits for the working poor.
''Senator Obama worked on some of the deepest issues we had and was successful in a bipartisan way,'' Dillard says in that ad.
Aides described Tribe, a member of the Harvard law faculty, as a mentor for Obama. Tribe praises Obama for his decisions after graduating.
''It was inspiring, absolutely inspiring to see someone as brilliant as Barack Obama, as successful, someone who could have written his ticket on Wall Street, take all of the talent and all of the learning and decide to devote it to the community and to make people's lives better,'' Tribe says in the commercial.
The Obama campaign is spending a modest amount of money to run his first ads in Iowa.
My Response: This is probably a sign of two things: (a) Obama's advisers have seen Romney's and Richardson's steady rise in the polls and would like to try out the same thing by throwing out a few test advertisements; (b) It looks like they're feeling good about the upcoming second quarter deadline and feel like they have the funds to spend.
As for my two cents on the second quarter fundraising deadline for the other candidates:
Opensecrets.org has a graph of Edwards' contributions week-by-week across the first quarter. All of the candidates show a big spike in the last week before the deadline. Edwards raised at least four million dollars in the final week last time (including only the FEC-reported donations over $200 --- I guess donations under $200 they have don't have dates for) --- he might not reach a number quite that high if his fundraising has indeed slowed down, but he should still clear $10 million, which should be enough for him to get his message out in the early states. By setting expectations low, he might just clear them and get a little bit of positive press for it.
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/weekly .asp?cycle=2008&cand1=N00009638& cand2=N00002283
As for Richardson, I really doubt that he will pass Edwards. Last quarter, 50% of his donations were from New Mexico, his total was only 5 million, and though he has been gaining ground in the early states in polling that might just be on account of his ads on the air there. His campaign has had a shaky couple weeks at best. He hasn't earned it, Edwards has run a far superior campaign.
I'm hoping Dodd registers a little bump up for his National Service plan. Maybe 6 or 7 million?
UPDATE 2: It turns out that the state senator in the second Obama ad, Kirk Dillard, is actually a McCain supporter! Ben Smith at Politico spotted this: http://www.johnmccain.com/informing/news/PressReleases/da020ad3-8a13-4369-a508-a216ec85a148.htm