THE PLANK OCTOBER 29, 2008
As you probably know, Barack Obama is running a 30 minute spot on national television tonight. 30 minutes! What in the world could or should Obama talk about for 30 minutes, and is it even fair that he's doing it? We asked Joe Trippi, former advisor to Senator Edwards and campaign manager for Howard Dean, what he would do if he were running the show.
Most presidential campaigns, back in the day, did long format ads. Gerald Ford did a long format from Air Force One. Carter did it. It was sort of tradition that on the final day, or the final evening, or in the final week, there were always long formats from both sides. It only seems new because in the last three or four cycles, it's been too expensive to pull off.
I'm sure that he'll spend the bulk of his time talking about the economy and middle-class and working-class people. And I think it's a great idea. I think he could focus on positives about the future. Like, this isn't about how things have been the past four years; it's about how things are going to be in the next four and the four after that.
I don't think its oversaturation at all. Just check out YouTube. YouTube only counts a view if you watch it all the way through. So when you see these 30 second ads for Barack that millions of people watched all the way through--that's one thing. But when you go to his announcement speech on YouTube or to one of his major speeches and see that seven, eight, nine, ten million people have gone to YouTube and watched the speech for all 40 minutes, that tells you something. People understand that they're making a big decision about the future of the country.
And I'm sure, by the way, that if McCain spent the money to have a 30 minute spot, people would watch both of them. The problem is that McCain has not raised the money, and he doesn't have the resources to do it. You can't blame Obama for that. It's not his fault that McCain can't get people to give to him. He could talk about how it's unfair because he stayed within the public funding. Okay, but the fact of the matter is that he didn't stay in public funding out of altruism. He stayed in public funding because he couldn't raise the money. Period. McCain structured [his campaign] differently and he's going to pay a price for it.