August 8th, 2007
03:45 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama asks 'What if?' in new ad

Obama launched a new ad Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Illinois Sen. Barack Obama released a new ad in Iowa on Wednesday, asking a set of hypothetical questions that his campaign said "highlights his ability to inspire hope and to unite America."

In the ad, an announcer asks, "What if there was hope instead of fear? Unity instead of division? What if we had a President who believes that we are one nation?" It then lists some of his accomplishments, talking about his work as a community organizer, state legislator and senator. "We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America," Obama says at the end of the ad.

“All over the state, Iowans are responding to Senator Obama’s vision for bringing Americans to build a movement to change Washington,” Iowa Communications Director Josh Earnest said. “By learning how Obama has successfully dedicated his life to these values, Iowa voters will better understand that Obama’s vision for bringing the country together to solve important problems is not just campaign rhetoric, but the cause of his life.”

Obama's campaign released the commercial in conjunction with "Grilling with Barack," an online contest where Iowans submit questions for him and the ten winners earn a dinner with the candidate.

The ad will run on cable and broadcast stations in Iowa.

– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    The Politics of Hope or Why Barrack Obama Will Do What His Ads Say... or Why The Real "What If" Is Hillary Clinton.

    There seems to be some discussion about whether we should be bridging differences or building walls in both this party and the country overall.

    Last night at the AFL-CIO debate, Hillary Clinton said, "if you need someone to take on the right, I'm your girl."

    This sound bite was almost Bush worthy in it's level of divisiveness and stupidity.

    I don't need you to take on the right, Mrs. Clinton. I don't need a champion of the left to jump in there and stir up the base the same way Bush has done to the right for the last six years.

    The base won't gain you the Presidency, ma'am.

    The time for the sort of us versus them mentality typified by your niave statement last night, Mrs. Clinton, is over.

    Barrack Obama is tapping into the feeling that pervades this country, the feeling that we are all of ONE NATION, FOR THE PEOPLE, not "for the politicians". Beyond that, I can think of others who have been much more willing to "take on the right" than you have, not least of which is Barry Obama.

    August 8, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    What if he had a campaign of concrete policy proposals instead of feel-good fuzziness? What if he had more substantial executive experience? What if he were electable by a majority of Americans?

    August 8, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Cliff Jones, Honolulu hi

    Who are those two women in the Picture? Hmmm. Thats going against the grain don't you think? The older woman looks like she needs some new specs.The younger looks like she needs to get her ear pierced. Donate now! Hurry up!

    August 8, 2007 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. Nancy Gdowski, Rockford, Illinois

    Maybe Obama got some of these ideas from John Lennon's song "Imagine".

    I am one of Senator Obama's constituents from Illinois. I also proudly cast my vote for him only two short years ago to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate.

    However, the first year in office he was promoting his books. And his second year he is running for president. The people of Iowa have seen our senator more than we have. After he won his senate seat he was asked by the press if he would run for president and not fulfill his full six years to the people of Illinois. He said no to running for president. A year later when he declared his candidacy for president he was reminded of his promise to the people of Illinois which was taped. His response was "that was then and this is now."

    So when Senator Obama tells you his dreams for this country he won't be saying "that was then and this is now" in the near future.

    August 8, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Isn't that the same thing Bush ran on? "Being a uniter not a divider!" And yes, we are still one Nation “under God”. Hope and Fear, yea, yea, yea…Amen, we heard that one too! Of course, we are all dissatisfied with the War in Iraq—that’s the last election’s issue. So what’s the big change, new direction and same old talk.

    Like in any job, the real question is… what have you actually done,
    what can you actually do, and
    what can you likely to accomplish in the future.

    Talk without performance is fools food.

    August 8, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Isn't that the same thing Bush ran on? "Being a uniter not a divider!" And yes, we are still one Nation “under God”. Hope and Fear, yea, yea, yea…Amen, we heard that one too! Of course, we are all dissatisfied with the War in Iraq—that’s the last election’s issue.

    So what’s the big change, new direction and same old talk.

    Like in any job, the real question is… what have you actually done,
    what can you actually do, and
    what can you likely to accomplish in the future.

    Talk without performance is fools food.

    August 8, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  7. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    Isn't that the same thing Bush ran on? "Being a uniter not a divider!"

    And yes, we are still one Nation “under God”. Hope and Fear, yea, yea, yea…Amen, we heard that one too! Of course, we are all dissatisfied with the War in Iraq—that’s the last election’s issue.

    So what’s the big change, new direction and same old talk.

    Like in any job, the real question is… what have you actually done, what can you actually do, and what can you likely to accomplish in the future.

    Talk without performance is fools food.

    August 8, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  8. Lance, Monrovia, CA.

    The Politics of Hope or Why Barrack Obama Will Do What His Ads Say... or Why The Real "What If" Is Hillary Clinton.

    Barrack Obama is tapping into the feeling that pervades this country, the feeling that we are all of ONE NATION, FOR THE PEOPLE, not "for the politicians". Beyond that, I can think of others who have been much more willing to "take on the right" than you have, not least of which is Barry Obama.

    Last night at the AFL-CIO debate, Hillary Clinton said, "if you need someone to take on the right, I'm your girl."

    This sound bite was almost Bush worthy in it's level of divisiveness and stupidity.

    I don't need you to take on the right, Mrs. Clinton. I don't need a champion of the left to jump in there and stir up the base the same way Bush has done to the right for the last six years.

    The base won't gain you the Presidency, ma'am.

    The time for the sort of us versus them mentality typified by your niave statement last night, Mrs. Clinton, is over.

    August 8, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. K, Huntsville Alabama

    "What if..." there was substantive, detailed discourse on the candidate's political positions instead of platitudes and generic feel-good statements?

    August 9, 2007 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  10. CMS, CA

    Unite America? Doubtful.

    The status quo will continue until we get a credible 3rd party that can unite the rational, intelligent, middle of the road Americans. Quit allowing these guys manipulate you.

    August 9, 2007 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  11. Larry, West Covina, Ca

    Let's face it Obama is no JFK! What good change can an unexperienced politician bring to the White House??? NONE!!! He has no merit other than opposing the war, my next door neighbor opposed the war, too; does that qualify him to be president?? I don't think so!

    August 9, 2007 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  12. Allen, Nashville

    What If? A good question Senator! What if a young sailor wrote your office on four occassions asking for help because of what mental abuse he suffered in your state at boot camp and he had the Audacity to Hope you would help, and instead you turned him away. How can you help the country when you won't even help one who signed up to defend this country? What if? What if Hillary used this sailor in her ads? What if?

    August 9, 2007 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  13. Providence, RI

    Obama lacks knowledge in depth in foreign policy, and he proved it over and over in his speech. Obama is "naive" and "inexperience." If you choose Obama, the consequences will be bad... He will need to stay in the Senate for a few more years, and then we can consider him. Now, it is too early...Knowledge is powerful, and he does not have it. I respect him as a human...

    August 9, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  14. Lou, Mississippi

    This is the BEST ad I have ever seen! Excellent! It's going to be "Morning in America" once again just under the President Ronald Reagan of the Left, President Barack Obama.

    August 9, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Anonymous

    What if you didn't have a wife that tells the world on national tv that "Hes my babies daddy?" Well then, you'd probably get my vote.

    August 9, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    Obama is about bringing adversaries together, while Hillary is about the same politics of division we've seen in the extreme for six long years.

    Last night at the AFL-CIO debate, Hillary Clinton said, "if you need someone to take on the right, I'm your girl."

    This sound bite was almost Bush worthy in it's level of divisiveness and stupidity.

    I don't need you to take on the right, Mrs. Clinton. I don't need a champion of the left to jump in there and stir up the base the same way Bush has done to the right for the last six years.

    The base won't gain you the Presidency, ma'am.

    The time for the sort of us versus them mentality typified by your niave statement last night, Mrs. Clinton, is over.

    Barrack Obama is tapping into the feeling that pervades this country, the feeling that we are all of ONE NATION, FOR THE PEOPLE, not "for the politicians". Beyond that, I can think of others who have been much more willing to "take on the right" than you have, not least of which is Barry Obama.

    MRS. CLINTON, YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TAKING ON THE RIGHT. You haven’t been speaking up in Congress, you’ve been safely hiding...

    You blindly voted for a Right sponsored disaster of a war and have never apologized for your mistake.

    You stand by and say nothing as others call for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney as they break law after law and craft bigger lie after lie to cover it.

    While the American Constitution goes the way of a bald eagle in a bathtub full of DDT you say less than others in an effort to protect your meaningless status.

    Did I hear you speak up when Habius Corpus was reversed and when anyone’s rights where stripped away merely by the “accusation” of being a terrorist?
    When Nancy Pelosi was arguing that point, or the point warrartless wiretapping was illegal where you there beside her on C-SPAN?

    The two “girls” in action?

    Nope. Even John McCain spoke far more memorably about it than whatever sound bite you espoused at the time.

    When it was revealed that Alberto Gonzalez had tried to coerce John Ashcroft into signing an illegal surviellence program on possibly his deathbed were you speaking out in outrage like John Webb or Harry Reid or even Joe Biden?

    Were you even half as outspoken as Arlen Spector for cryin out loud, when he said that he’s lost all crediblity in our Attorney General? Or when he found out that an attorney in his own office authorized provisions of the Patriot Act that give the President absolute sole authority, totally bypassing your own Congress, to decide arbitrarily who should be a U.S. Attorney?

    When it became known that the U.S. is outsourcing it’s interrogations of POWs and suspected terrorists to countries in the former Soviet Union, Syria and Cuba, were you there besides the dozens of other Senators that loudly proclaimed it’s unconstitutionality?

    Where you beside President Jimmy Carter a few months ago when he called George W. Bush the worst President in history?
    Or when he wrote two scathing books on the effects of the current administration? Was your book as decisive and harsh to the right?

    If it was, I can't remember the chapter.

    I think you were complaining somewhat about Bush, but it was not quite as loud, not quite as up front as Mr. Carter or the others, was it?

    Why? Because it's not presidential enough?

    Did you personally try and block the vote that 14 of your fellow democrats signed last Friday that made Bush’s illegal spying on Americans over the last six years legal, even despite the total unconstitutionality of the law?

    Nope.

    Somehow, I doubt you’re our girl, Mrs. Clinton. I think you’d be okay, maybe not as bad.

    Not bad ain’t enough. Shame on you for pandering to the audience and making yourself into a progressive.
    YOU ARE NOT PROGRESSIVE, you are REACTIVE.

    If any infrastructure needs a major overhaul, it’s that of the U.S. Government, starting with yourself.

    Obama ‘08.

    At least the man still has his integrity and I believe what his ads say. His message hasn’t had time to be as corrupted as yours has been ma’am.

    Thank God he’s running now, instead of waiting another 10 years to become as cautious as you have become.

    August 9, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. E. Caldwell Philadelphia, PA

    Yes, Yes, Yes. It's very true that unlike the other canidates that have had the privilage of being President in the past, Obama lacks that advantage edge. Oh wait a minute, none of the other canidates have ever been President either. Interesting. Well at least we can say that H. Clinton husband was President, that has to account for something. I mean G. Bush's father was once President and we saw how his fathers past experience really helped him lead a successful Presidency. Oh wait a minute, his presidency hasn't been great at all. I'm so confused can we all get together and meet on a really good reason to hate Obama, all this talk about inexperience and stuff is too confusing for my little brain to compute, when no one else has Presidential experience either. ME SO CONFUSED????????

    August 9, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Chip Celina OH

    "What good change can an unexperienced politician bring to the White House??? NONE!!!"
    Obama is “naive” and “inexperience.” If you choose Obama, the consequences will be bad… He will need to stay in the Senate for a few more years, and then we can consider him.

    These are from folks that are a unsatisfied with our government, but think people need that Washington insider training to be effective. I submit that the ONLY change can come from an inexperienced politician! If you want more of the same, look for someone with 'experience'

    The experienced politicians that are "running on their record" are the ones that need to PROVE what they've done. A fresh face should be judged on the merits of their ideas. We know that most of the crusty old "veteran politicians" think that passing a bill in Congress and throwing money at something will change the hearts and minds of people. I think the naivete' rests with the "old hands" on Capitol Hill!

    August 9, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. James, NY, NY

    What if we were not forced to import oil and gasoline leading directly to terrorist sponsoring nations having more money? What if we were as responsible for our own actions as our forebearers? What if we actually followed the Constitution and Congress didn't make up powers not included therein? What if our politicians knew what the word "comprehensive" meant when they tried to come up with comprehensive energy or immigration reform? What if our politicians knew what bi-partisan politics really are?

    The bottom line is that both parties have agendas and as long things continue along the current path things will not change. The only time things change is when the voters hold the politicians accountable for their empty promises. Unfortunately the voters who are fed up with the system also think that their politician isn't part of the problem.

    Too bad this will probably be deleted since CNN has no problems with censorship since they were so used to doing it in Iraq when they were the main media source providing us the "real" story on the conditions over there. Bad habits are hard to break, aren't they?

    August 9, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |