Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends

I'll miss the live broadcast of Barack Obama's 30-minute pseudoevent tonight (8 p.m. ET! Lots of channels!), but the New York Times has drawn up a preview of what's in it, and Democratic guru/iconoclast (guronoclast?) Joe Trippi analyzes whether or not it was a solid move.

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.

Well, I didn't know that. The last time we heard of this strategy, Ross Perot was dumping his millions into it, and it did wonders for him. Trippi makes a good point, too:

[I]f 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.

The only part of this I disagree with is that McCain might have raised more than the publicly-gifted $85 million if he'd manned up and left the system. He raised $47 million in August, his final month of private fundraising, the lion's share of that before Sarah Palin joined the ticket. Reportedly, he raised $4.5 million the day after he picked Palin. Who knows what he could have raised if exultant female Republicans were tearing out checks for the first female GOP VP candidate? Instead he spent a little time whining about how he had more honor than his opponent and a lot of time getting outspent.

If you watch the Obamarama, comment right here.

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  • SIV||

    I remember a long format ad from Gus Hall, back in the '76 campaign I think.
    Too bad he didn't live long enough to see the victory.

  • ||

    If you watch the 30-minute Obama Infomercial, please kill yourself.

  • ||

    Funny how she can spin Obama's lying about using public funding into a negative for McCain.

    Didn't vote for either of them, but just sayin'.

  • SIV||

    The Gus Hall long format ad had the typewriter sounds as the text appeared on the screen.I remember feeling somewhat proud to live in a country that sold TV advertising to Communists.
    Might have been '72 but I think '76.

  • ||

    Due to the wonders of remote control, I don't sit through a thirty second campaign ad. Why would I voluntarily sit through one sixty times as long?

  • SIV||

    Not long format but more entertaining were the JB Stoner political ads in Georgia. They had to sell him TV and radio time too and he railed against "Kikes" and "Niggers". I felt proud to live in a country that sold ads to hateful racist bigots as well.

  • Seward||

    Weigel,

    In 1984 Reagan, Mondale and LaRouche each had an election eve long ad. At least that is what I recall from my youth.

  • Mosby||

    I'll be doing something more productive... drinking.

  • ||

    I'm at the public liberry, listening to The PBS NewsHour via streaming audio from a college FM station, and I may or may not be home in time to catch the Obamathon.

    I gotta say, the D's gloating that their candidate is playing fair by raising gobs of dough, much via nigh-anonymous sub-$200.00 internet donations, while one of the few Republicans naive enough* to buy into "campaign finance reform" runs against them in a straitjacket woven from the shreds of the First Amendment, tickles my irony bone.

    As long as I get home in time to see Part 2 of the Game 5 cliffhanger, I'll be doing alright.

    Kevin

    * or, scared enough of reviving the taint of "Keating 5."

  • SIV||

    Seward,

    I remember a LaRouche long ad too. I think the one I saw was before '84.

    All these fond youthful memories of political ads, maybe I should watch the Obama one.

  • Seward||

    SIV,

    Won't it be posted on the internet so one can watch it there in one's leisure?

  • Craig||

    I bet ABC's ratings are a high for the season, as people seek refuge from this nonsense. I wonder how many undecided voters are going to be ticked off enough by a half-hour commercial for Obama to push the chad for McCain? (Why do people still call it "pulling the lever" when almost no one pulls a lever to vote anymore?)

    And why, if Obama is paying the networks only a million bucks apiece for a half-hour infomercial, didn't the Ron Paul campaign do an all-out ad buy the week before the February 5th primaries??????

  • ||

    For galt's sake people, I can't think of a bigger waste of time than watching an infomercial for a politician.

    Go jog. Take a smoke or two. Grab a beer with some friends. Do something...anything! other than watch some crappy "30 Minutes with Barry O."

  • SIV||

    seward,

    Not the same thing as on my grainy analog raster scan TV set! I don't have the attention span to look at anything remotely that long on the internet.
    (Firefox spell check offers "INTERNET" as all uppercase,capitalized, and "inter net")

  • Elemenope||

    SIV,

    What horrible, unspeakable thing did you do to your Firefox dictionary file? Mine recognizes "Internet" (it's a proper noun; should be capitalized) just fine.

  • cunnivore||

    I'm just curious as to why he's doing this. It's really not necessary, as Obama would win even if McCain carries all the remaining toss-up states.

    Is this just another instance of him jumping to secure a place in history, or is he simply toying with his prey before he delivers the lethal blow?

    In other news, I just had my third encounter with an Obama canvasser at my front door. WTF, people, there's no way he's going to lose, and I saw the first two guys write down that I was voting for Barr, so give it up already and stop claiming you didn't know that, you lying liars.

  • incogito||

    I wonder if I'd get in trouble with the secret service if I carve a backwards "RP" into the screen on top of H. Obama's face during this ad.

  • SIV||

    El,

    I don't know but it is always wanting to split up words. The all uppercase spelling is what really surprised me.

  • EJM||

    Here's a 30-second LaRouche ad from '84 that happens to promote the 30-minute version. I vaguely remember the long-form ads airing later in the decade--possibly into the '90s. (More vintage LaRouche video is here.)

  • ||

    Performing on a stool
    We've a sight to make you drool
    Seven virgins and a mule
    Keep it cool. Keep it cool.


    Nice ELP reference, Dave.

  • ||

    Barack Obama gets your whites whiter.

    Barack Obama works your abs, lats, and glutes - in one easy motion!

    Barack Obama clears away soap scum in seconds. Look at that shine!

    Barack Obama is made of a miracle fiber, developed by NASA, that never needs ironing.

    *gasp* You're not going to put acid on Barack Obama, are you?!?

  • ||

    I remember a LaRouche long ad too.

    No. Way. I wonder if I can find that?

    Lyndon LaRouche ran the greatest political ad I've ever seen during one of the Democratic primary debates in 2004. It opened up with a nuclear explosion, and ended with a voiceover guy saying "Vote Lyndon LaRouche...OR DIE!!!" and in between, they showed still photo of Lyndon while he talked about his wacky ideas, like that Star Trek episode.

    I can only imagine the levels of awesome he could achieve in a 30-minute ad.

  • ||

    Do Not Taunt Happy Funbama!

    Kevin

  • BarackCo||

    But there's MORE!

    Act now and get Joe Biden at absolutely free!
    (shipping and handling not included)

    How much would you earn to pay extra tax?

    $250000.....NO!
    $200000.....NO!
    $150000.....NO!

    Try just $42000! that is less than the median household daily income!

  • ||

    The treacly music's gotta go.

  • ||

    Lyndon LaRouche ran the greatest political ad I've ever seen during one of the Democratic primary debates in 2004. It opened up with a nuclear explosion, and ended with a voiceover guy saying "Vote Lyndon LaRouche...OR DIE!!!" and in between, they showed still photo of Lyndon while he talked about his wacky ideas, like that Star Trek episode.



    Joe, that is easily the greatest thing I've heard in a while. I'm going to have to hunt that one down.

  • ||

    "this doesn't grow government"
    "the American people don't want a handout"

    It certainly isn't the rhetoric of LBJ or a socialist...

  • ||

    Now, the deficit. Now see here.

    *gets out chart*

    She's like the crazy ass aunt you got up there in the attic, see, and everytime we wanna talk about her, the elite media and Washington insiders just slam that damn door shut! So this is what we gotta do, see, we gotta get up there in that attic and slap the bitch around some, see...

  • ||

    "Try just $42000! that is less than the median household daily income!"

    Wow, outright lies are interesting.

    Independent assessments of the tax plans finds that persons paying that amount would pay LESS in taxes under Obama than McCain.

  • Kaiser||

    "I'm worried about...." half my pay check being taken away each month....

  • ||

    I heard a LaRouche supporter call up on an NPR program the other day and tout LaRouche as having been right on the economic crisis "for decades."

  • ||

    Ahh, the special needs kid card. Take that Palin!

  • ||

    The shots of Barack Obama in the suit addressing the camera, laying out his plans: he's talking exactly the same way as he did when he was trying to convince that one guy who's door he knocked on in January.

  • robc||

    JsubD,

    Due to the wonders of remote control, I don't sit through a thirty second campaign ad. Why would I voluntarily sit through one sixty times as long?

    Actually, I think I would prefer a 30 minute one to a 30 second one. With that form, the candidate can actually talk about something substantive. Like Perot did. 30 sec ads just piss me off. The McConnell/Lunsford race may lead me to commit double homicide.

    That said, Im watching Alton Brown instead of Obama.

  • ||

    I can only imagine what a 30 minute McCain ad would look like...

    Joe the Plumber!
    Ayers!
    Maverick!
    Autism!

    Uhh, I still have 28 minutes?

    Did I say Ayers?

  • Kaiser||

    Oh, special needs kid...check
    Family sob story...check

  • robc||

    Dammit, a Lunsford ad in the middle of Good Eats.

    Its the chile episode.

  • ||

    OK, the father.

    For the record, I will stipulate, the father was a Marxist. And a Kenyan. Also, to my knowledge, the father never had an American birth certificate, attended mosque throughout his childhood, and you know what? Probably wasn't all that pro-American.

    The father. I'm talking about the father.

  • Kaiser||

    robc



    good call on the AB and Good Eats

  • BDB||

    Everyone should be happy to know they're talking about Ayers on Fox News.

  • ||

    The shame is that John McCain is a smart guy. I don't think I know any liberals who dispute McCain's intelligence.

    I think that the modern GOP is just catering to a very simple demographic. Cabot Lodge would probably roll over in his grave if he could see some of these McCain ads or debate performances...

  • Kaiser||

    MNG

    Hell a lot of liberals used to support McCain back in 2000, he has royaly screwed up his campaign with the attack ads during a poor economy (or at least the publics fear of a poor economy) voting for the bailout, and pandering to the right wing.

  • robc||

    Alton has now mentioned that Red Bell Peppers are chiles 3-4 times.

    I think its a major point of emphasis.

  • BDB||

    MNG McCain is going senile.

  • Kaiser||

    I enjoy how he put the act that he would leave Iraq, yet continue the fight in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and possibly start more wars in Russia, Iran, Sudan and who knows where else....20 min apart.

  • ||

    Nailed it.

    What do you think John McCain is thinking right now?

  • BDB||

    John McCain doesn't seem to think very well anymore.

  • BDB||

    Though I'm sure Schmidt will have a "celebrity" like ad out.

  • ||

    John McCain was, until very recently, one of the most popular politicians in America.

  • BDB||

    Sarah Palin was, too, joe. For about three weeks.

  • ||

    Touche.

  • Seward||

    I skipped it, got a frap and celebrated capitalism.

  • ||

    A frappe?

    Are you in Providence?

  • SIV||

    I took a shower and smoked a couple of cigarettes--before they are banned or taxed prohibitively.Was Bill Clinton on the live portion at the end?

  • SIV||

    joe,

    I thought they called them "cabinets" over there.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    John McCain was, until very recently, one of the most popular politicians in America.



    I heard that John McCain had fathered a black baby, and also - that John McCain was willing to fellate the person who originated the rumor that he fathered a black baby if it would help his political career.

    Also, word is that John McCain is a secret Muslim.

  • BDB||

    I heard Barack Obama fathered two black children!

  • Elemenope||

    I thought they called them "cabinets" over there.

    "They" (we) do.

    Don't ask me why.

    Frappe is a more ecumenical term, in use far beyond the confines of Little Rhody.

  • ||

    One thing I'll give BHO a pass on is reneging on his commitment to use my tax money for his campaign propaganda. Public funding of political campaigns is a drop in the bucket of government spending, but it's probably the single most disgusting use of my tax money I can think of.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Ron Paul's going to be on Maddow in a few minutes.

  • ||

    I don't trust...um...McCain. He's...uh...he's...he's...um.

    He's an Arab.

  • ||

    No?

  • Bingo||

    McCain was programmed in a Vietnamese prison camp. If he loses the election then various sleeper cells of former POWs will be activated to wreak havoc in the populace. Karl Rove is one of the agents that activated early and has already risen to great prominence.

  • Just Plain Brian||

    I heard that John McCain was involved with the terrorist attack on the Nakatomi Plaza in LA.

  • Bingo||

    John McCain - multiple wives
    Mohammed - multiple wives


    coincidence?!

  • Seward||

    If I remember, it took a few years before people started defecting from the Bush administration brand (a lot of that had to with the special circumstances associated with 9/11, etc.). So, how long before that happens to the Obama administration brand? Or will it simply not be an issue?

  • Orange Line Special||

    Just in time: The Non-Partisan Case Against Barack Obama

    In fact, all nineteen (so far) issues should be extremely troublesome to libertarians.

  • Kolohe||

    coincidence?!

    Manuel Noriega - born in Panama in the 1930's
    John McCain - born in Panama in the 1930's

  • Just Plain Brian||

    I heard that while the personality known as "John McCain" sleeps, his body posts to blogs under the name "LoneWacko"

  • db||

    (Why do people still call it "pulling the lever" when almost no one pulls a lever to vote anymore?)

    I like to think of it as "pinching the loaf" for a given candidate.

  • db||

    Hey, how about this for a good rumor:

    "You know that the Obama campaign is secretly terrified that they're going to lose. My sources tell me that the only way Obama would have authorized this expenditure was to make a last-ditch push to recover what he knows to be a lost cause."

  • ||

    I did what real Americans should have done, I watched the Suns and Spurs.

  • ||

    "You know that the Obama campaign is secretly terrified that they're going to lose. My sources tell me that the only way Obama would have authorized this expenditure was to make a last-ditch push to recover what he knows to be a lost cause."

    I doubt it. It's not like he gets to keep the extra cash. My guess is he's trying to pad his stats a bit just in case the Bradley isn't as dead as people think. Better to run up the score to 10 than risk losing by 1.

  • the unregistered voter||

    At this point, Obama ought to just keep his mouth shut. A few months ago, he nearly had my vote. But the more I hear from him, the better McCain is looking.

  • gmatts||

    I missed the Obamarama-rama.

    "Coming To America" was on and I got sucked in. Which got me thinking: I guess the next line of attack against Obama is that he grew up playing foreign games like Chase The Monkey.

    Did Obama mention Chase The Monkey at all tonight?

  • BarrCommercial||

    On an operative level, the fast majority of you, my fellow Americans, are Libertarians, and not one of these Democratic or Republican monstrosities that supposedly represent your public conscious comes within a mile of expressing what is in your heart.

    If you have ever smoked the refer, you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    If you have ever drunk alcohol before the arbitrary minimum age, you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    If you have ever been with a hooker,
    you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    If you have ever placed a sports bet
    or any game of chance banned in your locality you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    If you have ever stopped at a road side grocer and didn't think you needed a government inspector to approve your purchase, you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    Vote Libertarian America, or else you
    are just a nation of hypocrites.

  • gmatts||

    I just used the google to try and watch the video. I stopped after about 30 seconds after I realized that Obama was using the music from "Edward Scissorhands" (I was also expecting to see Ray Liotta walk out of the cornfield - bat in the wrong hand of course).

    Check for yourself if you don't believe me:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fsLWa9TO9g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fsLWa9TO9g

    He could have really made a gaffe though and gone w/ the music from "Edward Penishands" staring John Wayne Bobbitt.

  • BarrCommercial||

    Did you know:

    That if you actually enjoy sex and it is not just a means of procreation or an affirmation of your social conscious within the frame work of your lifestyle choices, you might just be a Libertarian.

    Enjoy the rest of Law&Order:SVU,

    and be sure to catch Ralph, Chuck and I on your local PBS affiliate as we scuff it up a bit tommorrow night!

  • MJ||

    "Hell a lot of liberals used to support McCain back in 2000,..."

    When McCain was running against Republicans, now he's running nationally against a Democrat and his liberal friends don't like McCain anymore. Is anyone actually surprised by that?

  • ||

    October 12, 2000, on the Hardball College Tour, at a stop at Michigan State University:
    STUDENT: I still don't see how that's fair...aren't we getting closer and closer to Socialism and stuff...? MCCAIN: Look, here's what I really believe: That when you are, when you reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.


    Socialism!

    It's interesting how the narrative from the McCain camp keeps changing. Obama's too inexperienced (harder to make with the Palin pick). He's an out of touch elitist (with perhaps a 150,000 clothing expense account?). He's hiding something (who is the real Obama?). Now it's "he's a socialist." And it's interesting to see how this charge, pulled out relatively late in the game, is resonating with many folks here on H&R. It's predictable because a good libertarian is of course concerned about socialism. But one reason McCain undoubedtly waited so late to focus on the charge is that he's taking so many "socialist" stands himself without pause. I mean, as someone who likes John McCain I've always been suprised at, pre-election, the sheer hate this man engendered on sites like this one. I guess he hopes with the election coming soon that enough people won't reflect on that before the polls close...

  • ||

    A question. I read recently that Ron Paul raised 35 million dollars. WTF did he do with that? I never say a Paul TV ad during the primary. And secondly the same source said Barr has raised only 1 million dollars. Why is that? That's insane if you ask me. Barr brings just as big a name and a similar position on nearly everything. Can you libertarians tell me why Barr is getting such lukewarm support?

  • ||

    MNG,

    'cause he's not, you know, a libertarian...

  • svf||

    watched it.

    objective, unbiased reaction: blah.

    nothing bold, new, or even vaguely compelling. just the same ole "honest american families who need a helping hand" narratives with bullet-point "solutions". none of the alleged "soaring rhetoric" that O'Bama is supposedly capable of either, just bland over-scripted monologue with treacly generic political-ad soundtrack music playing in the background.

    he would have been better off spending all that money on tons of 30 second ads in swing states.

    as it is, net effect = zero. "preaching to the converted", if they even bothered to stay interested longer than 5 minutes.

  • Seward||

    svf,

    I think one of the interesting things about the notion of the modern Presidency is the claims that presidential candidates make about fiscal policy, as if they are the primary (or heck, sole) operators in that field, when in fact that is really the role of the Congress, a role which that body still has a fair amount of control over.

  • Kaiser||

    MNG:

    I think it may have something to do with attitude. As one of the Reason writers pointed out (my apologies for not doing due diligence here and linking) Ron Paul just wanted to raise a small amount of money and get the word out, then it turned into a huge movement. Whereas Barr started out cocky, expecting to basically just take over what Ron Paul has started. Also of course as you know there is the whole controversy that he was a staunch conservative, voting for the war in iraq, the war on drugs etc etc.

  • ||

    Paul was disappointing on Rachel Maddow.

    I was expected an interesting back-and-forth between those two on the subject he was supposedly there to talk about, but he just fillibustered with a stump speech.

  • ||

    I suspect that sometime in, oh, 2010, we will discover that some significant percentage of Obama's fundraising consisted of illegal funds, due to Obama crippling the security on his website to enable illegal giving.

  • Elemenope||

    I suspect that sometime in, oh, 2010, we will discover that some significant percentage of Obama's fundraising consisted of illegal funds, due to Obama crippling the security on his website to enable illegal giving.

    Someone sure farms out their research to POOMA Associates.

    What do you base this fairly wild accusation on?

  • ||

    I think we will find out that Saddam sold off his WMDs to fund Barack Obama's campaign.

    That, and the profits of his fraudulent birth certificate racket.

    Get. A. Grip.

  • ||

    I guess the ACORN conspiracy theory didn't work out.

  • ||

    "'cause he's not, you know, a libertarian..."

    Well, he certainly sounds like one now...But I guess if a significant percent of Paul's supporters don't buy his conversion that would explain the disparity of support.

    I just think that had Barr 35 million to spend he could get double digits in a handful of states.

  • cunnivore||

    MNG, I think it has mostly to do with the fact that RP got all that money first. I gave his campaign $500 back in December, which was about as much money as I could afford to blow for the coming year, figuring he was the last best chance for liberty. I was through with the LP after '04 as I believed they'd nominate Badnariks for the remainder of their existence. I think that was the case for a lot of us.

    When I was pleasantly surprised by a serious politician like Barr getting the nom, the sad truth was I didn't have any money left to give. That's the thing that seems to be lost on the Paul worshippers -- yeah, it's great that he raised awareness of libertarianism with his fundraising. But the fact that he did absolutely nothing with that money means that libertarian campaigns and causes will be starved for contributions for years to come, and we have nothing to show for it but a few cushy jobs for members of RP's family.

  • cunnivore||

    Also, a lot of RP supporters went to Chuck Baldwin and the Constitution Party. But I don't think he raised much money either.

  • Geotpf||

    cunnivore | October 29, 2008, 7:15pm | #

    I'm just curious as to why he's doing this.


    It will help him, and he has the money, so why not? It appears to me that the more people who see Obama in a long form format (such as this, or the debates), the easier it is to defeat the whole "he's an evil Muslim America-hater" meme. This provides an opportunity for him to show "Joe Sixpack" that, no, he isn't the boogieman, he's just a guy with a family that has some plans and feels your pain and stuff.

  • Geotpf||

    BarrCommercial | October 30, 2008, 12:48am | #

    On an operative level, the fast majority of you, my fellow Americans, are Libertarians, and not one of these Democratic or Republican monstrosities that supposedly represent your public conscious comes within a mile of expressing what is in your heart.

    If you have ever smoked the refer, you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    If you have ever drunk alcohol before the arbitrary minimum age, you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    If you have ever been with a hooker,
    you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    If you have ever placed a sports bet
    or any game of chance banned in your locality you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    If you have ever stopped at a road side grocer and didn't think you needed a government inspector to approve your purchase, you are in your heart a Libertarian.

    Vote Libertarian America, or else you
    are just a nation of hypocrites.


    Or maybe you are a Democrat in Barney Frank's district.

    Or, hell, maybe you are Barney Frank.

  • Geotpf||

    Orange Line Special | October 29, 2008, 9:42pm | #

    Just in time: The Non-Partisan Case Against Barack Obama

    In fact, all nineteen (so far) issues should be extremely troublesome to libertarians.


    The non-partisan case against John McCain:

    1. He might start a war with Iran, which could easily devolve into World War III.

    McCain's temperament and rhetoric certainly indicate this is a real possibility.

    2. The old man might die and we would end up with President Palin.

    Since president is a binary choice (as it usually is; last time it really wasn't was 1992 when Perot had a shot), you therefore must vote for Obama. Unless you want a high possibility of World War III and/or President Palin.

    Makes your list seem minor in comparison.

  • BackStageBarr||

    Fast Americans?!? Fire that copy editor. What can you expect from cheap labor Vassar graduates. Not a and pony show people! Five hours and we're up. Crucnh time, laddies.

  • ||

    I don't know anything about Obama being involved with ACORN, but that organization definitely operates under an end-justifies-the-means philosophy. I'd be uncomfortable if he did more than pay lip service to a constituency that would, to be fair, be difficult for a black politician to ignore or oppose.

  • ||

    If you squint a little bit, you can see Joe Trippi making a pretty decent argument for capitalism and against wealth redistribution.

    By Obama's policy preferences, he should be spending his money on an infomercial for Bob Barr.

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