October 30th, 2008
08:43 AM ET
14 years ago

30-minute Obama ad shows campaign muscle

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/29/campaign.muscle/art.obamatrail.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Barack Obama aired a 30-minute campaign ad Wednesday night."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's 30-minute TV ad, which ran simultaneously on broadcast and cable networks at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, is muscle-flexing that has little precedent, a campaign advertising expert said.

"It's evidence, if you needed any, that the Obama campaign has more money than there is ad time left to buy," said Evan Tracey, director of the Campaign Media Analysis Group. "This is flexing the muscles."

Tracey estimates that it will cost the campaign "in the $4 to 5 million range - at a minimum, $3.5 million."

But, he said, spending the money is a "no-brainer" for the Democratic presidential hopeful.

"The strategic brilliance of this for Obama is that he is going to consume about 24 hours of the news cycle," Tracey said. "It boxes [John] McCain in, takes the oxygen out of the room."

In the carefully produced infomercial, Obama laid out his plans for the economy and for bringing an end to the war in Iraq.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. Enough

    @ Mary-Think about what you are doing. If you contributed over 1,000.00 to this campaign you obviously are not like the rest of us who are stuggling. Maybe you should help those of us who NEED THE HELP not someone who already has the money. God help this country if the Obama cult takes over.

    Geez Mary, that sounds an awful lot like socialism-you know, that thing you wingnuts have your panties in a bunch over? Obama's campaign funds have come from mainly small donors-and many of us
    struggled to give what we did. You obviously would benefit from Obama's tax program-yet you would shoot yourself in the foot financially and vote for McCain...why is that?

    October 30, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Trysh in Los Angeles

    Kim, he never PROMISED to take public funding, he agreed to discuss it and decide when the time came. And if you think on your own and not use McCain talking points, you will note that the PUBLIC is FUNDING Obama's campaign. We are the ones who sent him the money. If he'd taken public funding, McCain would have had the Republican 527 teams use THEIR private money to outspend Obama, like they did to Kerry. Obama just didn't fall for it. He played by the rules; don't be mad because he played better than your boy.

    October 30, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. European guy resides in VA

    To all McCain & Palin Supporters – Part III

    And for those who think Senator Obama will raise taxes on middle income families. First ask yourselves, did you really look at both candidates tax relief proposals and compare them based on different income brackets?
    If you have not, please do, and at the end if you could still say McCain's tax relief plan is better for the average American household (who makes between $38K and $66K), go and vote for Senator McCain.
    Also ask yourself, how does a government generate revenue? In order to serve its citizens better, how can a government possibly finance / pay for all its public projects and services for its citizens to improve their quality of life?
    I am a permanent resident in this country and I make over $200K a year. Like every responsible person, I pay my taxes to the government so the government can invest my tax dollars for my kids and for the future generations of this country in the form of better education, healthcare, research and development, conservation and public services.
    Senator McCain claims that Senator Obama wants to spread the wealth around by taking money from average Americans and give it to the poor. Do you really think his argument has valid points? Well here it goes… according to Senator Obama's tax plan; middle income families (Average Americans) get the biggest tax relief, if so how is it possible for Senator Obama to take "Joe the plumber's money" –if Joe the plumber is an average American as senator McCain claims and makes between $38K to $66K- and spread around? Senator McCain's claim is totally false and misleading.
    What senator Obama wants to achieve is that by raising the taxes only on individuals who make more than $250K and on Corporations that make billions of dollars, the government can invest into the programs such as education, healthcare, research and development, new sources of energy, and projects such as infrastructure improvements, housing and urban developments. These investments would not only create millions of jobs but also strengthen the economy, improve the quality of life of American people, save the future of next generations, give a fighting chance to even the littlest guy to be somebody by attending to the best schools in the world or working hard and realize the American dream. This is the way how this country came out of great depression and this is how the great society was formed, and unfortunately we are far from it today.

    October 30, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Pat

    This add was wrong, you should not be able buy an election and that is what Obama is doing. Not only does he have the money but also has the major networks bias favoritism. McCain has to go negative – which is wrong in order to overcome this biasness. And, no we don't need 60 Dem Senators and Dem controlled House and President,. Hate to tell, we need balance because it is not right for the Dems to push their own agenda thru cause 50% of this country is Republican/Independent and our interests need to be also represented. The same should be said if it was reversed, that the Dems need reprentation. What we really need is bipartisianship, which we have gotten little of that over the past 30 years.

    October 30, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Matt

    I have given $1,000 of my own hard earned money to the campaign... I am proud of that and proud to know my money paid for something that was positive and reinfoced my beliefs....

    October 30, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Larique from CT

    Senator Obama's ad was moving and it really gripped the audience... In the end, at the live event, that was even more powerful. You just can't help but love him even more! I pray the supporters/voters come out and vote for him because he is the change we need!

    October 30, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Tony

    It was a well produced infomercial, and completely worthless. It provided nothing for independents, who are looking for bipartisanship. Obama's idea of "bipartisanship" is voting a straight Democratic ticket. The decided independents are favoring McCain, and the rest of the independents will decide this election by choosing McCain.

    October 30, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. geecee827

    Obama is using money that was voluntarily donated to him by his supporters. He isn't using taxpayer money to run his campaign, including this ad. He can do whatever he feels he needs to do to win this election. That is why we donated the money to him – to help him win this election. McCain is using taxpayer's money from the General Treasury to run his campaign. That would also include some of my money, and I don't like him, his ideas, or his V.P. I resent McCain using any of my money. I just keep donating to Obama and trust he is using the money wisely, which he sure seems to be doing. God Bless Him and Sen. Biden.

    October 30, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Phoenix

    The Republicans may have hi-jacked Obama's theme of change, but Obama has successfully run a Democrat labeled campaign using traditional Republican Values. Republicans.........you are done.

    October 30, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. ScoobyDoo

    I won't buy a used psycaldelic van from this man...

    October 30, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Sara, Wisconsin

    I contributed to the campaign and feel my money has been well used.
    It is true – WE the contributors have purchased success for a candidate who we believe will do a good job.

    October 30, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. almighty

    I am almost as sick of Joethe plumber (and wasaboud the second time I heard about him) as I am of little miss dipstick (AKA Sarah Palin).

    I used to think McCain was a good choice who could breakaway form the mainstram of his party (a good thing) since he is old enough that a second term would be practically impossible and so had nothing to owe to the special interests and he would be able to do the right thing and to hell with the GOP establishment. Picking Palin just showed he can't get a way from them. All he needed was someone competent and not a GOP/neo-con stooge as a fall back for when he has his inevitable heart attack in year 3, Say Mitt Romney.

    Re Miss Palin – likable enough and a good campaigner, but the last thing this country needs is a non-intelectual, with little real experience, who thinks that can be compensated for by extrordainary amounts of Hubris.

    October 30, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Koolaid for seniors

    I can just imagine the conversation at GOP headquarterts now.
    "I can see an iceberg on the horizon, John. "
    "No worries, I'll ask the band to play another song ,Sarah. Joe wants to dance with you."
    Thank you for your leadership, Barack.

    October 30, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. proud army and navy mom

    the repugs are grrreeeen with envy that they can afford to campaign like Obama/Biden.

    Sen Obama did an excellent job last night, now I will go and vote for him.

    October 30, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  15. Redneck Racist in Pittsburgh

    Frodo – I voted 5 times in 5 different states in two days, but I did vote straight Republican (because I have a brain).

    What prize do I win other than a real president who isn't hiding from his past or his family?

    October 30, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Scott in Atlanta

    Interviewer: Senator Mccain and Governor Palin, what kind of plans do you have for this country?

    Mccain: My friends, pow, iran, ayers, wright, khalidi, fight, right where we want them, obama this, obama that, Reagan, maverick, mavericker, maverickest, experience, pitbull, russia, joe the plumber, joe the plumber, joe the plumber, pelosi, reid, obama, vote for me…

    Palin: Alsooooo, up there, and also because too that they were up there (wink) mavericky, (wink), joe the plumber, socialist, ayers, wright, khalidi, maverick, wardrobe, consignment shop, russia, up there, also, too also, Katie Couric, liberal, liberal media, tito, hannity, great state of Alaska, fight, energy, oil, alaska, wasilla, down syndrome baby (supersize that), also up there, pit bull, lipstick, also, too… Thank you, vote for me! Oooops. I mean us.

    October 30, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. Southern Girl in NYC

    His message was so presidential! And he came off so genuine. He's real. I am so excited that he will likely be the next president of the United States. Finally someone I can identify with, someone I can admire and respect. Someone who grew up with modest means and doesn't come from some powerhouse political family with boatloads of money.

    I am SO EXCITED and can't wait to vote on Tuesday!

    October 30, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. The worst of worsts

    He got money he can use it for anything he wants.
    The question is this country does not have such money.
    What can he do without money?

    The worst election ever.

    Both of them can't get second term.

    October 30, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. Mavwreck


    who (fake) suspended their campaign so he could rush back to Washington to support the bailout?
    HInt- it wasn't Obama

    October 30, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Matt

    Kim October 30th, 2008 10:24 am ET

    The only reasosn Obama had the money to do this Production was because of his BROKEN PROMISE. Now let's think, if he will spend this much money on a commercial all about himself, what do you think he will spend if he is elected? He will spend a lot of our tax dollars on stuff that is not necessary, just like this commercial.

    How can you say that he will waste our money on things that are not necessary, like this commercial? Then which campaign ads do you find to be necessary and which dont you? And are you really concerned that Barack "broke a promise" to not use public financing? You understand that he chose to use the money people donated to him, not tax payers money like the McCain campaign. Listen stop crying because if McCain did the same thing you'd say he was just being smart and hes not unfair! Barack can raise more money than the RNC and McCain Campaign and your upset because people like me, who doesnt make a lot, donating for something we believe in! Come on!

    October 30, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. dem voter

    Hey california voter, I would think that you would be concerned about the RNC spending money on Palin's clothes, because its most likely coming out of the tax payor's pocket (that's what I call real welfare). As to Obama spending, his supporter gladly gave him money to spend as he please (private money, private dollars). Its time for change vote Obama.

    October 30, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. ELuning

    Painfully cheesy. I would've mocked this thing regardless of whose it was...

    October 30, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  23. mike

    Actually it shows what an extra 4 million dollars in the hands of someone with a giant EGO does for television. KUDOS to CNN and ABC!!!

    October 30, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  24. Praetorian

    Clearly–he's got a populist message that transpires typical party divisions fior many of us.

    He's successfully exploited multiple media venues, and he's successfully crafted a message that transcends party lines.

    If elected–can he really pull it off?

    October 30, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |

    I voted early, and I am so glad that I did! I was undecided until I got tired of Mcdummy, and Stupid Sarah, I was so glad to see the Obama ad last night. He is a young, smart man. One that I will be proud to call my President. He is not trying to divide this country, he will bring back the respect that we once had. It is time to send the other 2 nut cases back to where they came from. This grandmother and the rest of Ohio are for Obama / Biden '08 !!

    October 30, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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