June 26th, 2007
05:20 PM ET
4 years ago

Coming to a TV near you

WASHINGTON (CNN) – New political campaign ads hit the air in Iowa and New Hampshire Tuesday, another sign that presidential candidates are investing early in key primary states.

In Iowa, voters won’t cast the first votes of the 2008 election until January, but Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois chose the Hawkeye State to begin airing his first two campaign commercials this week. Across the country, in the equally important early voting state of New Hampshire, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, is going up on the air new ads.

The Obama ads tell the story of his career before he came to Washington, as a community organizer in Chicago and even gives a nod towards bipartisanship. One of the ads features glowing words from a Republican, who worked with Obama in the Illinois state Senate.

“Republican legislators respected Senator Obama,” says Illinois state Sen. Kirk Dillard. “His negotiation skills and ability to understand both sides would serve the country very well.”

Even though Dillard is supporting Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, for president, he agreed to appear in Obama’s commercial.

In May, Edwards ran commercials in Iowa. And he’s not the only one. S en. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, has also advertised in both New Hampshire and Iowa. And New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson came up with some clever commercials poking fun at his resume.


In his ad, Richardson appears to be interviewing for a job. The interviewer begins a laundry list of Richardson’s experience saying, “Fourteen years in Congress. U.N. ambassador. Secretary of Energy. Governor of New Mexico. Negotiated with dictators in Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, Zaire, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Kenya. Got a cease-fire in Darfur. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times. So what makes you think you can be President?”

The commercials ran in Iowa and may have helped him make modest gains in the polls there.

Among the Republican presidential candidates, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney seems to be leading the pack in ads and now it seems, polls. He’s spent nearly $4 million to blanket Iowa and New Hampshire with his ads.

“Romney's strategy in the early states is to get out of the gate early and define himself before his opponents do,” says CNN Political Editor Mark Preston. “So far he has been successful.”

Romney is now on top in a CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted in New Hampshire, he’s also ahead in a recent poll in Iowa. It’s unclear if his commercials are the reason behind his recent surge, but it appears to have helped his campaign.

The 2008 presidential election is still 16 months away, but the political campaign ad wars looks like they are just getting under way.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Fabio Escobar, Amherst NY

    Yet another CNN story on political strategems. One wonders what the ratio is of stories about strategy to stories about policy. I would wager 9 to 1.

    June 26, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. anonymous Portsmouth, VA

    Here's some strategy. If you are Catholic, don't try to say it's okay to be pro abortion. If you are a democrat, try standing up for pro life rights. If you are for the death penalty, try to understand what it is like to be innocent and on death row. If you are Republican, don't try to say that embryonic stem cell research is okay. We all know that creating a baby to harvest his/her organs is despicable. If you wonder about the embrace the democrats give to immigrants from south of the border, try to realize that grief of thirty years or so, re: JFK, RFK, MLK etc, has made the joy of those with very little much more attractive that SUV's and a large mortgage. Those that love the flag and are anxious to be a part of the country will win out. Address the grief issues, the CIA lies and machinations (sending a letter about lesbian football players to a media source in the 70's–sending America a "left" push at a weak time)and the FBI's inactivity in dealing with the now known crimes (CIA dirt released). Ask them to act justly toward the victim/veterans of MK Ultra, the little kids that were sexually abused and used during the cold war and after by CIA. Ask them to apply to themselves and their friends at CIA the same laws they force us all to follow. No perjury, no tainting of evidence, no bribing witnesses, no overlooking crimes as a favor. Then, my friends, we will have an election.

    June 27, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |