The Green Zone
Wright Ad May Be Too Little, Too Late
By Matthew Mosk
The ads many Democrats feared would surface finally have -- tough attacks on Sen. Barack Obama for his association with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
The commercials come straight to the point, describing Wright as someone who "raged against our country" while Obama stood by him and play recordings of Wright's most bombastic sermons. "Not God Bless America, God Damn America," he rails in video taken up in the ad. "US of KKKA!"
But the ads, paid for by the National Republican Trust political action committee, may be too little, in terms of the size of the ad buy, and come too late to have much of an impact, according to Evan Tracey, who analyzes political ads for the Campaign Media Analysis Group.
According to the latest figures from his group, the Republican Trust has not spent anywhere close to the $2 million-plus the group has claimed as the size of its ad buy. Tracey said the group spent $185,000 on Friday to air the commercial on CBS in Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and on cable. The buy was expanded over the weekend to include more time and additional media markets, costing the group an additional $430,000.
"This stuff is too little to land a real punch, and probably would be even if they had put $10 million behind it," Tracey said. "The problem for them was that the Wright card was played by the Clinton campaign. People have already digested that issue. If they wanted to use the Wright angle successfully, it probably needed to be a slow steady diet of ads from September to Election Day."
Tracey said the real impact of the ad will be to satisfy a faction of the Republican Party that felt the campaign had not done enough to raise questions about Obama's association with Wright. Doing so now "may fire up the base," Tracey said. "But there's not a lot of new information there."
Posted at 6:48 PM ET on Nov 3, 2008
The Green Zone
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