Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama The Rock Star

We're happy to see John McCain wasting his money on television ads in the middle of summer.

Especially television ads that equate Obama with a rock star. While somewhat amusing, these are risky ads for McCain--while they obviously try to portray Obama as lacking in experience (and judgment by comparing him to Paris Hilton), they could backfire.

First, the comparisons are so far off the mark that even the dimmest voters can tell the difference. Obama clearly has substance compared to a Paris Hilton. If anything, they make him out to be more like Hannah Montana, i.e., the best of both worlds: a rock star WITH substance.

Second, these ads make Obama out to be a larger than life figure, and Americans LIKE larger than life figures.

Finally, McCain is spending a lot of money on television at a point when it does very little good. The real story in the press should be that McCain is so desperate to draw attention to his flagging campaign that he's having to resort to expensive summer ad buys with a risky media proposition just to get some press of his own.

Recently, Obama's campaign briefed major donors and other campaign operatives on strategy for August. They noted that McCain is spending a lot on media in battleground states, but said Obama would not try to match him at this point. Instead, the Obama campaign is investing heavily in field operations, particularly new campaign offices, in battlegroud states. This strategy is quite evident in Virginia, where Obama's campaign is opening 20 offices around the state, thus hitting every part of the Commonwealth.

As we've said before, this is wise strategy. After his nomination in 2004, John Kerry had all kinds of volunteers, but no place to put them. Obama will be in a position to use the tens of thousands of volunteers his campaign will be able to recruit, and we predict they'll be a much better investment than television ads, certainly better than television ads in August.

So go ahead McCain, keep those ads rolling.

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