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Ad Watch: Obama's South Carolina Radio Ad

The Obama campaign is airing a new radio ad in South Carolina aimed at the state's African American voters.

The 60-second ad, called, "It's Time," is set to smooth saxophone music, and plays up the senator's personal, and professional history.

"Sen. Obama is looking forward to continuing his conversation with the people of South Carolina," says spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "He is proud of his African American roots and outreach to the African American community is a key part of his campaign," she adds.

"It's Barack Obama time," the ad's announcer says. "A Christian family man, community organizer, civil rights lawyer, courageous legislator, and U.S. senator who's told the truth as a soldier for justice," it continues.

Then the ad switches to the voice of Obama:

"We have more work to do when the Black incidence of HIV/AIDS and diabetes, and every other illness is multiple times higher than the rest of the population," Obama says. "We've got more work to do when it takes a hurricane and bodies floating through a street for us to recognize race and poverty in this country."

It's a powerful ad, sure to resonate with the Palmetto State's large black voting bloc. It is also one of the first political ads we know of to explicitly address African American health issues, and Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in such a straightforward way.

Psaki says the ad is running on 36 urban and gospel stations across South Carolina. It's designed to build on the campaign's grassroots support in the state, and to let African American voters learn more about the senator's record, she says. No official word on whether this ad campaign will continue in South Carolina, or on TV or the Web.

What do you think? Is this the way to reach out to African American voters? Should the other candidates address these issues in a similar way? Listen to the ad in the player below, and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

-- Ed O'Keefe

By Ed O'Keefe |  July 25, 2007; 11:11 AM ET Ad Watch , Barack Obama
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Comments

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It is a good ad- but clearly directed at the Black community- how will it go over when the white community realizes he is playing up his blackness to only one segmetn of the electorate.

I say this not to denegrate Obama but to seriously look at his problem with walking a thin line on race. It is something that I hope this nation will soon get over.

The entire issue of whether the country is ready for an African American or Woman President shouldn't be the issue in 2007 but it still is.

As we saw in the debate at Howard University, a Historically Black College, Hillary Clinton won that debate becasue she could talk about race easier than Obama could. She also most likely has a better long term record on the issues that he tries to talk about in this commercial- Healthcare- education - civil rights-

I agree it's time but its time for Clinton not Obama- I think the nation and the African American community will be better off.

Obama doesn't have the gravitas on these issues that Clinton has- and when you heard what he said at the debate about meeting with world leaders- it was something I would have said- it took Hillary Clinton to understand the nuances before she spoke- that comes from experience and a readiness to be President.

Posted by: peter | July 25, 2007 11:46 AM

I fail to see any issue when one targets a particular audience with a particular message, whether it be gun holders, soccer moms, women, environmentalists or minorities. This is speaking and marketing 101. Doesn't one want to know their audience? Coupled with the fact that at least half of the South Carolina Democratic Primary is African American, it's quite easy to see that Peter is making very strange comments.

That Hillary has a better long term record on civil rigthts than Obama doesn't pass the laugh or smell test. Peter is just making another very strange comment. Why?

As for Obama's comment, well, die hard supporters for one candidate or another will see it either as him speaking on the assumption that he didn't intend to invite them over for tea time without preparing an agenda or as an opening to score lame political points.

Nice try, Peter.

Posted by: Michael | July 25, 2007 12:15 PM

He's got my vote. I'm white, and I don't resent him at all for speaking to the black community about issues they care about. Makes good sense to me. But meanwhile, he's not doing the "angry aggressive black man" thing that totally turns me off. I have nothing to feel "guilty" for, and anyone who tries to pour resentment all over me is going to lose my vote.

Posted by: MizLiz | July 25, 2007 12:28 PM

It's great to see Obama reaching out to the Grassroots African American Community, which have all too long been ignored in politics. Obama is correct in his statement that it should not thousands of deaths and bodies strewn across the streets for poverty to be addressed. Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation and the large majority are children under the age of 5. This can no longer be ignored.

Posted by: Erica | July 25, 2007 12:48 PM

It's great to see Obama reaching out to the Grassroots African American Community, which have all too long been ignored in politics. Obama is correct in his statement that it should not thousands of deaths and bodies strewn across the streets for poverty to be addressed. Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation and the large majority are children under the age of 5 [Borgen Project]. This can no longer be ignored.

Posted by: Erica | July 25, 2007 12:49 PM

I think it's great to target the African American audience. However, like everytime Barack speaks, it's too wordy. I agree with Peter...Hillary's experience is an asset. She is able to more directly address issues, and with fewer words! Barach plays to emotion...Hillary to reason.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 1:21 PM

I just saw Michelle Obama in Seattle and wow- what a story she tells of how Barack is the real thing. This radio ad is the real Obama. Maybe we need a debate between the spouses of all the candidates.

Posted by: Tom | July 25, 2007 7:57 PM

We also just saw Michelle Obama in Seattle! She is a great and inspiring speaker. She received applause and standing ovations throughout her speech. My husband's first words after she finished speaking: Wow! Barack is a 10 and she is a 12! Both she and Barack are the REAL deal.

Posted by: ER | July 25, 2007 8:40 PM

I was disappointed that someone would say
those things about your Country for with
my age on my side I think those days have
been gone some years ago. I can only think
he has really harmed his chances by taking
that approach,you don't need that question
raised again in my opinion. For shame.

Posted by: JM | July 25, 2007 9:38 PM

As a 57 year old white male texan who can't believe George II wasn't at least impeached for his behavior after katrina, the obama ad is cause for hope. Maybe it won't continue to be politics as usual if he gets elected. Maybe our real problems would actually be addressed for a change. We saw the Clinton act for 8 years, and have no desire for a repeat performance. I'm excited about the prospects of an Obama presidency, and the possiblility of Ma Ferguson leaves me cold.

Posted by: stan | July 27, 2007 7:03 PM

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