Obama Buys 30 Minute Prime Time Spots
Barack Obama, flush with cash, is buying 30 minute spots — so far on ABC and NBC — that will air on the anniversary of Black Tuesday. James Hibberd and Paul J. Gough:
The Obama campaign is producing a nationwide pitch to voters that will air on at least two broadcast networks. The ad will run Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. — less than a week before the general election.
The direct purchase of such a large block of national airtime right before an election used to be more commonplace before campaigns began to focus their endgame strategies exclusively on battleground states. Such a move is not without precedent in modern presidential politics, however — Ross Perot did a similar purchase in 1992.
The special is a smart move for the Obama campaign, said Larry Sabato, a political analyst and director of the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia. “Obama’s theme is not just change but unity, so he’s appealing to the whole nation rather than a handful of tossup states,” Sabato said. “He wants to win the popular vote by a good margin, which will enable him to govern.”
And he’s got the cash for it, Sabato said. “This is another indication, if there needs to be any more, that Barack Obama’s got more money than (available) television time to buy,” said Evan Tracey, COO of the Campaign Media Analysis Group in Arlington, Va.
While he’s blowing McCain’s doors off in fundraising, the fact of the matter is that Obama Plus DNC is roughly equal to McCain Plus RNC; the difference is in autonomy, not financing.
Regardless, this is an interesting play by Team Obama. I’m not sure who the audience is for a 30 minute infomercial — I’m a political junkie and am unlikely to watch — but time’s running out to spend the money, so why not? We’ll see whether he throws in a set of Ginsu knives to go along with the no cost health care (paid for by only the top 5 percent!) and magic energy pony.