Kitchen sink coming


    A week after President Obama announced his re-election campaign, we get “Barack Obama’s Legacy of Failure,” a TV ad from the Tea Party Express which in just 60 seconds blames Obama for just about everything except the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

    Actually, by the standards of political advertising, it isn’t any more misleading than most negative ads. It doesn’t suggest Obama’s a Muslim, doesn’t make personal attacks, and unlike Donald Trump, leaves the ridiculous birther argument alone.

    It struck me as such a rapid-fire laundry list of accusations that it’s not likely to persuade anybody who doesn’t already agree with the ad’s point of view.

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    But as J.J. Balaban, a principal consultant with the media firm the Campaign Group explained when I called him, it’s not really intended to persuade anybody.

    This is a 60-second ad, rarely used in real campaigns which rely on heavy repetition of 30-second spots.

    “It doesn’t look like something intended to be broadcast on television and persuade any voters,” Balaban said. “It looks like the sort of thing intended to get publicity in the press and email around to charge up supporters and shake loose some financial contributions.”

    The news release that came with the ad said $250,000 would be spent to run the ad in seven states, including Pennsylvania. By campaign standards, it’s a minuscule ad buy.

    The release says the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama will be raising money, in part with a three-hour radio-thon on an unspecified day in May, originating from Las Vegas.

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