Will this seal the deal or open up more questions?

Will this seal the deal or open up more questions?

click the panel to watch it in full

    What do we think of Obama’s $4m “Infomercial”?

The major event in the White House race overnight was the half hour commercial that the Obama campaign placed at peak times on almost all the networks and which cost an estimated $4m.

When I heard of the plan my initial reaction was to think that it was a mistake – a bit like his mass rally in Berlin. Obama is already under fire for going back on an earlier pledge not to accept public money with the restrictions that that entails. Such public lavish expenditure underlines the spending gap with McCain and might still come back to bite him.

I also wondered whether there was going to be something of the Kinnock 1992 Sheffield rally about it – especially when I read that part of it was filmed in a facsimile of the White House Oval Office. Having now watched it in full I think it’s probably what will seal the election for him.

Firstly it’s dominating one more precious news day for John McCain – there isn’t much time left for him to get a final message across. Secondly it does deal with the main negative that his campaign has had to handle – the fact that he is vulnerable to charges that he is not a “normal” American.

It also appeared designed to prepare the ground for what will be a key part of an Obama presidency – health care reform.

Anyone who is interested in political campaigning should watch the entire film. It will be referred to time and time again and some of the ideas will be used in UK campaigning.

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Mike Smithson

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