Monday, December 29, 2003
Democrats Buying Airtime to Explain Views
Howard Dean has run half-hour programs in Wisconsin, New Mexico and Iowa that profiled his family, featured supporters and sought donations. In New Hampshire, Joe Lieberman has aired footage from a town-hall meeting where he talked about issues including prescription drugs and the environment. John Kerry held a similar forum that was broadcast live across Iowa, and he plans another live forum for early January in New Hampshire.
The concept isn't new. Ross Perot spent millions filling the TV airwaves with half-hour ads with quirky titles like "Deep Voodoo, Chicken Feathers and The American Dream" during his presidential runs in 1992 and 1996. George W. Bush, Al Gore and Bill Bradley each ran at least one long-format program in the 2000 primaries.
Dean ran a half-hour program once early this month as a test in a relatively cheap media market, Madison, Wis., to determine its effectiveness. The spot, which included Dean's experiences as a doctor and Vermont governor, cost $2,100. The campaign collected more than that in donations on the day it ran, and it decided to run the program again in that media market as well as in Albuquerque, N.M., and Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
el - Perot convinced me on his first run that he would do no worse than the other guys in a half-hour spot.