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Clinton Unveils New 3 AM Ad, McCain Responds

UPDATE, 8 pm: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has already responded with a "3 a.m." ad of his own, the script of which Mark Halperin at The Page has obtained. The ad begins as Clinton's does but then the ad's narrator says: "Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama just said they'd solve the problem by raising your taxes. More money out of your pocket. John McCain has a better plan. Grow jobs, grow our economy... not grow Washington. It's 3 am, time for a president who is ready."

Here's McCain's ad:


ORIGINAL POST

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) this afternoon released the second ad of her presidential campaign featuring the "3 am phone call" motif, this time with the economy as the theme and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as the intended target.

Here's the ad:


"John McCain just said the government shouldn't take any real action in the housing crisis," says the ad's narrator. "He'd let the phone keep ringing."

The ad, which began running today in Pennsylvania, ends with: "It's 3 am. Time for a president who's ready." (The ad is an obvious echo of this spot, which ran in advance of the Ohio-Texas Two-Step.)

Mark Penn, Clinton's chief strategist, said on a conference call this afternoon announcing the ad that it "raises real and substantive issues with Senator McCain on how to deal with the economy going forward."

Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson noted that this is the first ad run by a Democrat in this race that mentions McCain by name.

McCain's campaign quickly pushed back. "Americans can't afford the Democrats' liberal agenda to raise taxes, nationalize health care, cut off trade and crush the economy under big government," said spokesman Tucker Bounds.

The strategic decision to focus on McCain even as Clinton remains the underdog for her party's nomination is an interesting one. It is especially noteworthy given the radio ads on Clinton's behalf that the American Federation of Teachers began airing earlier this week that also draws contrasts between the New York Senator and McCain.

In The Fix's decade of covering campaigns, we've learned a few lessons -- one of which is that coincidences almost never happen in politics.

If Clinton's campaign and independent groups are using their paid communication to push the idea that their candidate is better able to win the White House in a race against McCain, it is something close to a certainty that polling suggests that the electability argument plays well with voters.

Electability has, to date, been a back burner issue for most Democrats if exit polling conducted in the states that have voted so far is to be trusted. But is it possible that electability is becoming far more important to voters as McCain solidifies his position as the Republican standardbearer while the Democratic race drags on and on? The Clinton campaign clearly believes the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 2, 2008; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Wag the Blog: A Question of Temperament?

Comments

Me, I want Barack Obama to answer the phone.

I'm sure others would too if the article cited below had more exposure:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/obama-mee... /

...Several of the retired military officers standing behind Mr. Obama smiled as he spoke. Earlier, a couple of them stepped forward to say they were comfortable with his ability to lead the military, including Gen. Merrill A. McPeak, the retired Air Force four-star general who commanded the air war during Operation Desert Storm.

General McPeak said the steady temperament that Mr. Obama has demonstrated during the campaign would serve him well as commander in chief.

"Senator Obama was up in Iowa, maybe not so up in New Hampshire, but he was the same Barack Obama," General McPeak said. "Steady, reliable, 'No shock, Barack. No drama Obama."

Posted by: beccalynntoo | April 3, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Me, I want Barack Obama to answer the phone.

I'm sure others would too if the article cited below had more exposure:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/obama-mee... /

...Several of the retired military officers standing behind Mr. Obama smiled as he spoke. Earlier, a couple of them stepped forward to say they were comfortable with his ability to lead the military, including Gen. Merrill A. McPeak, the retired Air Force four-star general who commanded the air war during Operation Desert Storm.

General McPeak said the steady temperament that Mr. Obama has demonstrated during the campaign would serve him well as commander in chief.

"Senator Obama was up in Iowa, maybe not so up in New Hampshire, but he was the same Barack Obama," General McPeak said. "Steady, reliable, 'No shock, Barack. No drama Obama."

Posted by: beccalynntoo | April 3, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

How that we know from the 11,000 pages of Clinton White House documents released this week that former First Lady was an ardent advocate for NAFTA, now that we know she held at least five meetings to strategize about how to win congressional approval of the deal, now that we know she was in the thick of the manuevering to block the efforts of labor, farm, environmental and human rights groups to get a better agreement, now that we know all of this, how should we assess the claim that Hillary's heart has always beaten to a fair-trade rhythm?

Hillary Clinton is indeed a LIAR, and she should give back most of her delegates she won in Ohio for telling that lie to the voters there on NAFTA!

If Hillary had told the truth on NAFTA BEFORE the Ohio primary, she would have lost Ohio
3 am she was at bus stop looking for Bill

Posted by: mha31353 | April 3, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: anthem20042001 | April 3, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

so, yes, i loathe the clintons...their questionable tactics and dubious sense of right and wrong never fail to amaze me...having said that, i gotta say...i feel sorry for her...this ad is just pathetic...another fine example of bad maneuvering and shallow pockets...it would appear that this is her moment of zugzwang...desperate, clueless measures for desperate times.

Posted by: jazzgrrrl25 | April 3, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

---------------Billary-----------------

-----------marines or army-------------

Bill says hillary tried to join marines
Hillary says she tried to join the army

....investigate this Chris Cillizza.....

Posted by: moneyfools | April 3, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton's actions are increasingly bizarre. She has degenerated from a seemingly informed person to a caricature or at best a spoiled child having a temper tantrum because she can't get her way. One day she's Rocky, another day she's dodging enemy fire, another day she's up all night waiting for the phone to ring, ... When you add in Bill Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro and James Carville, it's too much to take. She has become an embarassment and I, for one, no longer support her.

Posted by: Amelgepo | April 2, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

It's proof positive now that Hillary's imagination is campaigning on experiences Hillary doesn't have. It's becoming more of a pattern how Hillary likes to role play in her mind, but now she's including others to play out what she imagines she's qualified for. It wouldn't be wise for anyone to join with her when she does this. Joining with Hillary and her over active imagination only encourages her to keep adding on to the story, like in the sniper tape lie. For Hillary, the 3 a.m. call is reality, it's not just an ad. Hillary has played it out so well in her mind, she is the only one qualified to handle the 3 a.m. call. If Hillary doesn't stop in time, she might hear these words. Will the Hillary who dodge sniper bullets please come forward. Will the Hillary who says she was a soccer player when the school didn't even have a soccer team please come forward. Will the Hillary who has all the experience please come forward. Will the Hillary who says she had a role in peace negotiations please come forward. This is only scratching the surface. No telling how many more Hillary's there are in the mind of Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: houstonian | April 2, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

anyone that doesn't understand what happens in the intl markets and the impact on the stock market with price spike in Saudia Arabia and Bear Sterns at 3 am has obviously never watched CNBC at 3 am. as I have unfortunately done. A 3am meltdown in the intl markets might work for upper income voters, but not for blue collar workers struggling to pay their house note or fill up their pickup trucks with gas. Ask a Scranton truck driver if he would be moved by images of a meltdown at Bear Sterns, and its doubtful they would have any idea what was being said. Personally I have been scraming at their campaign since Texas to use the 3 am link to the economy and curious why they have waited it makes sense.
Running out of money? You can repeat that tired line all you want meanwhile the campaign has raised $5 million just this past week. Certainly not up to Sen Obama's but enough to run ads.

Posted by: leichtman | April 2, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I think you're missing the point here; distract attention away from the delegate math (something that HRC will have trouble winning any argument on) and instead focus on attacking McCain so HRC looks like she has a fighting shot at winning the nomination (even though the math suggests otherwise). Sounds like a smart strategy

Posted by: cartmanqb | April 2, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Experience candidate? Then surely she should know the phone doesn't ring at 3am for Economic issues. Now for poor old Ben it might be a different story....

Posted by: youngsiward | April 2, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I can just imagine the president getting a 3am phone call telling him/her that home foreclosures are up...

Posted by: jimoneill50 | April 2, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

3am? How does this relate to the economy?

Even debt collectors don't call at 3am.... Well actually perhaps hers do since her first ad.

Maybe they think she is answering the phone at 3am as she said she would.

I am down for the DEM NOM whoever it is, but this ad is pretty lame. NO matter how I cherry pick it.

Posted by: vance1 | April 2, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

If she collects the money and then renegs on paying any vendors, she can then transfer it over to her Senate account, and then to the clinton library and then to her homies and then back into her personal checking account.

You gotta think like a clinton to get it.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 2, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"The one where Tina Fey describes her as 'A B-itch that gets things done'?"

No, the one where Obama starts crying and calls Hillary on the red phone.

Beneath the Oval office desk, there's a puddle on the carpet from Obambi.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 2, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"Is every decision in the next Clinton administration going to happen at 3:00 a.m.? "

There's a joke in there, but I'm not going to make it.

Posted by: bsimon | April 2, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps its not designed to make sense, ..."


In that case, she's batting 1000.

Is every decision in the next Clinton administration going to happen at 3:00 a.m.?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 2, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I still don't get why anyone would feel warm and fuzzy about Hillary answering the phone in the middle of the night. She already claims she is at a great disadvantage getting ready in the morning having to put on makeup and all. Could she even think without having to apply some lipstick first?

Posted by: nclwtk | April 2, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

3am the first time got attention.... the second time, it's ho-hum. Out of ideas or cash.... or both?

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | April 2, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

lets wate some more of my poor uneducated supporter money......they will never realize that I cant win until the convention HRC for life dumbasses

Posted by: exhooper | April 2, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"she should just play the SNL skit over and over."

The one where Tina Fey describes her as 'A B-itch that gets things done'?

Posted by: bsimon | April 2, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

she should just play the SNL skit over and over.

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 2, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Hi, I'd like to order a pizza to go with no anchovies.

No anchovies? I spell my name DANGER!

Posted by: thebobbob | April 2, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"However, it does have the minor problem of making no sense at all!!! First off, the people in the ad pouring over bills are clearly doing so in the middle of the day. Secondly, it's too vague, the average person doesn't really believe that financial crisis happen in the middle of the night"

Perhaps its not designed to make sense, so much as to dredge up renewed discussion of the original 3 AM ad, without explicitly bring up the original 3 AM ad. In other words, try to renew discussion of Obama's credentials without being the party that brings up the discussion. If it works, they benefit (or so they think) without being criticized for criticizing a fellow Dem. The question is: will the Media fall for it?

Posted by: bsimon | April 2, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Here are the two articles that I said I would try to post. The one that Obama did not give a comment to the journalist who was there with Obama and the secret service to hear the hate sermon.
The other is the video I said I found on Politico made by a republican. This is just a little of what we have in store for us if he is elected our candidate.
http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/obama_america_sermon/2008/03/16/80870.html


http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0308/AntiObama_video_crafted_by_talk_radio_producer.html

Posted by: chacha1 | April 2, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton did not "win" Texas. As of now (before the Texas State Democratic Convention in June), Obama has at least a two delegate lead -- 108 to 106 (with one yet to be determined). The balance of power rests with 13 uncommitted superdelegates. As a result of the Texas two-step, Obama is "winning" Texas -- or at leading. And I am pretty sure the Lone Star State will dance with the leader in June. Since Hillary's chances of being the nominee are at best 4 to 1 right now, that "leader" will be Barak. Forget the Quaker state. Obama will win in North Carolina, Oregon, Montana and South Dakota. And this contest will be over.

Posted by: maverickwells | April 2, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton did not "win" Texas. As of now (before the Texas State Democratic Convention in June), Obama has at least a two delegate lead -- 108 to 106 (with one yet to be determined). The balance of power rests with 13 uncommitted superdelegates. As a result of the Texas two-step, Obama is "winning" Texas -- or at leading. And I am pretty sure the Lone Star State will dance with the leader in June. Since Hillary's chances of being the nominee are at best 4 to 1 right now, that "leader" will be Barak. Forget the Quaker state. Obama will win in North Carolina, Oregon, Montana and South Dakota. And this contest will be over.

Posted by: maverickwells | April 2, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton did not "win" Texas. As of now (before the Texas State Democratic Convention in June), Obama has at least a two delegate lead -- 108 to 106 (with one yet to be determined). The balance of power rests with 13 uncommitted superdelegates. As a result of the Texas two-step, Obama is "winning" Texas -- or at leading. And I am pretty sure the Lone Star State will dance with the leader in June. Since Hillary's chances of being the nominee are at best 4 to 1 right now, that "leader" will be Barak. Forget the Quaker state. Obama will win in North Carolina, Oregon, Montana and South Dakota. And this contest will be over.

Posted by: maverickwells | April 2, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

the clintons have officially jumped the shark.

http://jewishworldreview.com/jonathan/gurwitz040208.php3

Posted by: kingofzouk | April 2, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually I think in the end senator Clinton will be our only hope to win the white house of the two remaining.
l)I think that many people will not overlook the fact that senator Obama stayed in a church and listened to a minister spew hate towards whites and America for 20 years. How can be bring us together when by his actions he stayed and condoned what the minister said?
2) Obama lied to the interviewer and said he never heard the worst of the sermons when the journalist following him and his secret service heard and called for a comment about the hate sermon they got no comment but the next day he had his famous race speech to save his presidency, it was not a show of courage to tackle the subject. I will try to post the article later. (He also wrote a letter on Huffington post to say that he didn't hear) Lies but the republicans will not let him get away with it like some of us democrats.
3) They lie about his experience. Two articles attached in this regard. One from the times that checked into both senators' records on this, and the other about him getting credit for other senators' work in the Illinois senate while he was going to run for the senate seat. It was to make him look good.
http://dallasobserver.com/2008-02-28/news/obama-and-me/print


http://www.newsweek.com/id/129976/page/1
First one written by a journalist who knew Obama well "Obama and Me"
The second is a look at both the candidates left and their records.

I didn't mention that the republicans have a video of senator Obama lieing and other things that will make Kerry's swift boat look tame. I found it on Politico. I know that if he is nominated we will see his pastors' hate speech and Obama's comments, his wife's comment about her country is also on it and Obama with all the democrats when they were all together listening to the pledge and he is the only person in the row without his hand on his heart. Need I say more? The republicans as we all know are good at this, will try to post this too, but I don't know how to post all at the same time. Sorry!

Posted by: chacha1 | April 2, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

This ad makes a lot of sense on two levels, and yet still manages to really sucks. First off, attacking McCain on the economy is a very smart way to promote yourself as a candidate for both the nomination and the general. Secondly, it cannot be considered damaging to the party.

However, it does have the minor problem of making no sense at all!!! First off, the people in the ad pouring over bills are clearly doing so in the middle of the day. Secondly, it's too vague, the average person doesn't really believe that financial crisis happen in the middle of the night, and financial people know that when they do happen, it's not he President that handles it.

Why wouldn't you put the ad in context, point out the Bear Stearns collapse and say that financial crises happen in the blink of an eye. We need a President who has the knowledge and experience to make decisions quickly and accurately. Not a President who admits to knowing nothing of the economy.

The appearance and tone of the ad just don't fit the message, it looks phony to me.

Posted by: jslotterback | April 2, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

You're off the mark.

The ad less about her electability (and not Obama's) and more about her ability to create an ad that's cheap to produce. She's running out of cash.

Posted by: gmckinney | April 2, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

This is real good news for all Democrats. Clinton needs to campaign against McCain, as does Obama. Hopefully, this is the beginning of her doing so. With both Democrats campaigning against McCain and backing off attacks on the other, the nominee will be much stronger.

Posted by: jkajohnbaker | April 2, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

As I listen to POTUS'08 it appears that BHO is campaigning against McC, too.

Is it possible that both D campaigns are going to try to circle the wagons and shoot out?

Is that not what the D leadership actually wanted, once it accepted that the race would not end soon?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 2, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHA!!! I hope she checked the political preferences of the actor this time!

Posted by: jencm | April 2, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"In The Fix's decade of covering campaigns, we've learned a few lessons -- one of which is that coincidences almost never happen in politics."

Is that an implication that the Clinton campaign might be working with a 527 to coordinate ad campaigns? Or is this an 'almost never' coincidence?

Posted by: bsimon | April 2, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Even for Hillary Clinton, this ad is shockingly lame.

Posted by: johnlumea | April 2, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Clinton and Obama may have wised up, and are trying to avoid the heralded "train wreck" by focusing on McCain.

This should give voters and superdelegates a chance to audition them side-by-side for the only election that REALLY matters, based on issues and electability, not who misremembers sniper fire or never paid attention to church sermons.

Posted by: jobie | April 2, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse


Hillary, pick up the CLUE PHONE. . . and call it quits now.


Posted by: Christian_in_NYC | April 2, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Are any of the people in this commercial Obama supporters? I'm sure they conducted background checks this time, after all it's probably getting difficult to find Clinton supporters these days.

And I think it's great she's taking her energy away from Obama, it shows that she knows she doesn't have a chance to actually beat him in the nomination, so this is just part of a larger campaign to convince superdelegates to abandon the candidate with the most support from Democratic voters.

Posted by: thecrisis | April 2, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

its 3 am and the phone is ringing

*good morning, this is the ABC DEBT COLLECTION agency, when can we expect payment for all the debt you collected?*

click!

its 3 am and your trying to avoid debt collectors.

paid for by the elect hillary campagin
p.s. the check is in the mail, we promise!

Posted by: jaymills1124 | April 2, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

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