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Sen. Hillary Clinton asked her supporters to pick a campaign song. Former senator John Edwards asked his supporters to add to his "We the People" TV spot by uploading videos on YouTube.

And now Mitt Romney -- who leads the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire but is something of an unknown to most Americans -- is upping the ante. He's asking supporters to create a television spot for him. Starting today, supporters can use photos, videos and audio clips provided by the Romney campaign -- as well as their own multimedia content -- to produce an official Romney TV ad.

Alex Castellanos, senior adviser to Romney and a veteran media strategist, said Tuesday night, that voters "have more power than ever. So why not let them create a campaign ad?"

Romney is partnering with Yahoo! to provide the multimedia editing platform. On Romney's page on the Yahoo-owned, a free video editing site, supporters can "mash up" the available 44 video clips, 36 audio files and 372 photos. The deadline to submit an ad is Sept. 17, and the winning submission, as chosen by the campaign and supporters on, will hit the airwaves at the end of September.

This being the Internet, it is certain not all submitted ads will reflect positively on Romney. "We have no control over that," said Mindy Finn, who heads the campaign's Internet strategy. "But we're confident that we'll see top-notch, professionally produced ads."

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

By Washington Post editors  |  August 29, 2007; 12:01 AM ET
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No news here.

Dennis Kucinich posted his request on YouTube for DIY campaign ads, named "A Call Out To Producers," about a month ago. Romney's handlers must have seen it and decided to copy Kucinich's idea.

What we need is a President like Kucinich who will actually WORK FOR US, and not some fop like Romney, et. al., who will only spend time preening for the next photo-op. All these hair-and-make-up candidates make me ill, even more so than watching the evil exude from Giuliani through the TV screen. Is it so hard to get a real man elected in this country?

Posted by: Coppertop1019 | August 29, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't this already tried with ketchup commercials? If what I read about that was accurate, it ended up costing the ketchup company more to edit the commercials, which were generally dull and repetitive, than to produce them themselves.

The candidates who can win from this strategy are obviously the candidates who tend to attract creative types. Obama jumps to mind, given his support in the film industry.

A final point. Wouldn't the most convincing home-grown video ads be unsolicited? Is Romney shooting himself in the foot by asking for ads out loud?

Posted by: sickofspam | August 29, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

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