The Bush campaign, the AP reports this morning, "is shifting gears with some $14 million in commercials that praise the Republican for 'moving America forward' amid economic and terrorism challenges." A commercial unveiled yesterday says, "What gives us optimism and hope? Freedom, faith, families and sacrifice." Bush's two new ads "do not mention Kerry but instead seek to make the case that the United States should keep the incumbent in office as the nation recovers from wartime and economic woes." The positive ads "are designed to set the stage for Bush's nominating convention later this month in New York. The commercials suggest that Bush has a vision for the future although the spots are short on specifics about his second-term agenda." The Washington Post adds that chief Bush strategist Matthew Dowd "said that while Bush plans to lay out his plans for a second term, 'we'll let the president announce that to the public before we put it in a TV ad.' He said future ads 'will continue to draw contrasts with Senator Kerry because we think they're stark.'" The Wall Street Journal says the Bush campaign "hoped for two tactical offensives. The first was in April and May, when the re-election committee spent nearly $80 million on ads attacking Mr. Kerry; the second was this month, when the campaign planned to use ads to soften the president's image and build momentum toward the convention, starting Aug. 30 in New York. The latter was expected to be significant because Mr. Kerry's campaign had said it would go 'dark' in August, following the Democratic convention, to conserve resources for the fall showdown with Mr. Bush." However, the Bush-Cheney campaign, "in both periods, may be matched or outspent in important markets, not by Mr. Kerry, but by Democratic groups rallying to his side."
Democratic 527 Groups, DNC Target Bush With New Ads, Ferrell Sketch.
The Washington Post reports this morning that with Democratic nominee John F. Kerry "off the air for August to save money, the Media Fund, an independent group that includes his former campaign manager, is spending $2.5 million on ads in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Mexico. Three of the ads were previously aired by MoveOn.org PAC, deepening an alliance between the two liberal organizations." What may "garner even more attention, though, is the Media Fund's plans for an online video featuring comedian Will Ferrell, formerly of 'Saturday Night Live,' ridiculing Bush." The video, "to be posted online by the Media Fund's parent organization, was directed by Adam McKay, who also directed Ferrell's latest movie, 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.' Ferrell, who volunteered his services, portrays Bush as a pitchfork-wielding boob on a farm, struggling to make a campaign ad and finally saying: 'Don't read the news or watch the news, except for Fox.'"
DNC, Anti-Bush Groups Matching Or Exceeding Number Of Bush Ads. USA Today says the Kerry-Edwards campaign "won't be hurt by its decision to not run TV ads until after Labor Day, political experts say. The number of ads running this month by the Bush-Cheney campaign is being matched or exceeded by the number of ads run by the Democratic National Committee and independent groups opposed to President Bush."