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Teachers Launch Radio Ads For Clinton in Pa.

The American Federation of Teachers is up on Pennsylvania radio stations with a 60-second ad that portrays Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as a fighter and the candidate best equipped to beat Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in the fall.

"We don't need another George Bush in office," says one man. "That's why I'm supporting Hillary Clinton." A woman adds: "Hillary can take on John McCain." (You can listen to or read the full script after the jump.)

The ad, which began running yesterday and will run until April 21, the day before the Pennsylvania primary, cost AFT $329,425, according to a report filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission. The organization is also planning a significant mailing on behalf of Clinton in advance of the April 22 primary.

AFT has been one of the few independent groups to continue to spend on their candidate's behalf as the nomination process has worn on. In the days leading up to Iowa, New Hampshire and even the mega-primary on Feb. 5, a number of different groups aired radio and television ads in support of Clinton as well as Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former senator John Edwards (N.C.)

Adding this Pennsylvania radio buy, AFT has now done paid advertising advocating for Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The group has spent more than $2 million on their efforts -- radio and direct mail -- on behalf of Clinton with the largest expenditure coming New Hampshire where the group dropped north of $400,000 on its campaign. AFT also spent $281,000 on radio ads in Iowa and another $200,000 on commercials in Wisconsin.

The spending by AFT is a helpful compliment to Clinton's own expenditures on paid communications, which, at the moment, are being dwarfed by those of Obama.

According to Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG, for short), Obama spent roughly $2 million on television last week as compared to $400,000 disbursed by Clinton. That is a considerable advantage in paid communications and, without the help of outside groups like AFT, could well lead to some erosion in Clinton's lead in the state before the April 22 primary.

These dire spending numbers came amid a series of stories about the Clinton campaign's unpaid bills and rumors that she was struggling to raise the tens of millions necessary to keep the campaign afloat all the way to the end of the nomination fight in early June.

The Fix spoke to Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson earlier today about the issue and he insisted the campaign is in fine financial shape, noting that they took in more than $1 million online yesterday alone.

"We are continuing our strong fundraising and will have what we need to compete successfully in the upcoming contests," said Wolfson.

To our mind, only two things would knock Clinton out of the race before June 3. The first is an avalanche of superdelegate endorsements for Obama, which hasn't happened yet. The second is money. If she is being blasted out of the water on television and can't pay her staff, it might bring the race to a premature end.

Barring either of those developments, and, as we said, we don't see them yet, Clinton is in it, well, to win it.

Listen to the ad here:

And read the script here:

SHARON: Pennsylvania people are hard workers and we're fighters.

MARGO: I am a public school teacher.

MARK: I spent a career in the navy, 22 years.

SANDY: I am a retired university professor.
I'm worried that we're falling into a recession.

SHARON: ...it may mean that I can't retire when I'd like to.
We need to change the course of direction in the country.

SANDY: George Bush has definitely created a mess of things.

MARK: We don't need another George Bush in the office. That's why I'm
supporting Hillary Clinton.

SANDY: Hillary can take on John McCain.

MARK: When I think of John McCain, I don't think of a 'change' candidate.
I think of more of the same.

SANDY: Hillary has the solutions to solve very complex problems.

SHARON: ....they're solutions that work for us.
She stands up for what she believes...when she gets knocked down....she gets up...and keeps fighting.

MARGO: She's capable, she is experienced and she's a fighter.

MARK: ...a fighter.

SANDY: We need a fighter in the Oval Office.

MARK: I'm supporting Hillary.

MARGO: Hillary Clinton for President.

ANNOUNCER: Paid for by the American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO. Committee on Political Education 800-238-1133. And not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. AFT-COPE is responsible for the content of this advertising.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 1, 2008; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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