The Plank

2008 Begins

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For your viewing pleasure, the first ad of the 2008 presidential season: A "Draft Obama" ad produced by DraftObama.org in conjunction with The Jackson Group, the people behind what they claim is the first-ever (and successful) presidential draft ad, an ad campaign to draft Wesley Clark in '04.

The ad will run this week in D.C. and New Hampshire -- and they're looking into running it in Hawaii, where Obama will spend Christmas and decide whether or not to run; after all, the ad's most important audience is the Senator himself.

I don't think this is a great spot from a technical point of view -- the text is distracting, the photo montages retro, and the whole thing smacks of a weirdly un-American hero worship -- but, at the same time, it's hard to see how others can compete with the audio, taken from Obama's famous '04 Democratic Convention speech.

I imagine -- if Obama runs, which I agree he almost has to now, lest he seem a you-know-what-tease -- we'll see his competitors stick to testimonials from Iowa farmers as to how great their boy Vilsack is, etc, with drastically reduced ad time showing clips of the candidates themselves. Nobody else can talk like that. For better or worse, Obama channels Bobby Kennedy.

--Eve Fairbanks

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