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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Attacking Obama’s TV Special

posted by on October 29 at 10:05 AM

Tonight’s the night for Barack Obama’s half-hour infomercial, which will air at 5 p.m. PST on CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision, BET, MSNBC, and TV One at a cost of $1 million per airing.

The New York Times got a look at a one-minute “trailer” for the production. A number of people have jokingly speculated about which performers Obama might be bringing on to fill the time, but it sounds like he’s decided not to go the variety show route:

At times he will speak directly into the camera about his 20-month campaign, at others he will highlight everyday voters, their everyday troubles, and his plans to address them.

And at the end of the infomercial, it appears, Obama will speak live from a rally in Florida.

McCain, for his part, has been complaining that Obama is delaying the World Series with this giant ad buy (a charge disputed here) and today released an ad called “TV Special”:

One thing that I noticed about McCain’s new spot: he’s now saying Obama’s not ready to lead… “yet.” Maybe this is an old change of rhetoric, but I hadn’t notice it until now and I wonder if this is some sort of attempt by McCain, perhaps sensing that he’s in the twilight of his candidacy and has a legacy to worry about, at offering a kinder, gentler version of the “not ready” attack.

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They should just play the game in RBI baseball.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 29, 2008 10:07 AM

What time is it airing in Seattle?

Posted by blip | October 29, 2008 10:09 AM

RBI Baseball ? You're the elitist. Barack is definitely a Baseball Stars guy.

Posted by Chris | October 29, 2008 10:11 AM

@3, you made my 10 oclock hour.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 29, 2008 10:15 AM

I'm an Obama fan. But the method he used to raise the amount of money necessary for this media buy is shady. If we're not critical of it, he'll make the President even MORE imperial and super corporate. And these unidentified small internet donations via credit card can come not just from wealthy non-US citizens, and from corporations, but from states. Very dangerous.

Posted by Trevor | October 29, 2008 10:19 AM

Wait... most TV listings have the "Barack Obama Political Message" at 8 pm Pacific Time. Can someone set this straight?

Posted by frank blott | October 29, 2008 10:32 AM

@5: You mean financing with a clear paper trail that is disclosed more than 5% more often than McCain discloses his own finances? Financing that is found through netroots and not in the McCain way of sending solicitation letters to Russian ambassadors?

Mm, right.

Posted by AJ | October 29, 2008 10:32 AM

It will be airing on the EAST COAST at 5pm PST (which of course is 8pm EST)

He bought prime time spots for this. We wont be seeing it til 8pm tonight in Seattle as far as I know.

Posted by akbar fazil | October 29, 2008 10:34 AM

Yes, it is airing at 8 pst, not 5. I checked the listings at to be sure.

Posted by Levislade | October 29, 2008 10:36 AM

It's on at 8 except on FOX where it's on at 8:30 local time.

Posted by Curtains | October 29, 2008 10:38 AM

Trevor, how are small donations "corporate"? The whole point is that each donation is so small that no one (or even group of) donors can pressure a politician to do their bidding. It's not about knowing and cultivating the moneyed people anymore. Now, post-Obama, it's about giving the country your message and seeing who will support it with their donations. Taking your case to the whole populace - the very essence of democracy.

Posted by Terry | October 29, 2008 10:46 AM

Don't you mean 5pm PDT?

The time-change does not happen until this weekend.

Posted by dvyscott | October 29, 2008 10:57 AM

So, can we watch it online before 8pm PST?

I am setting my clock one week ahead.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 29, 2008 10:59 AM

The "not ready to lead, yet" change in rhetoric is the beginning of conciliation. McCain knows he's losing and must return to the Senate. He is preparing for the inevitable bridge-repair and humble pie-eating.

Posted by inkweary | October 29, 2008 11:49 AM

where's the best place to find it on the internets?

Posted by M | October 29, 2008 12:36 PM

If you already know you're voting for Obama, do the world a favor and watch Pushing Daisies on ABC instead. It's one of the best shows on TV with verge-of-cancellation low ratings. It shudders to make me think, but perhaps McCainiacs will tune in and inadvertently save it since it's the only original program airing on the major networks at 8 p.m. Please?

Posted by PD Fan | October 29, 2008 1:01 PM

Fuck, it's so pathetic it's like McPalin's just waking up in the morning and deciding what new thing to try. The head's under and the hands are still grasping. Make sure you vote to make sure these clowns get boxed out. Fucking clowns.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | October 29, 2008 2:48 PM

@ 7 &11: You guys seem to miss the whole potential for anonymity, the possibility for bundling, the ways in which small internet donations are under-regulated, creating a loophole that will corrupt Dem and Republican campaigns alike if it is not closed ASAP.

After the Supreme Court decision in 2000, and vote theft in 2004, I won't really shed a tear for McCain. But this is still dangerous.

Posted by Trevor | October 29, 2008 3:13 PM

I noticed the not ready to lead "yet" tag this morning. I figure it is a final plea to give Sen. McCain "his turn". At 72 years old, this is his last shot at the brass ring. In 4 to 8 years we can still have Obama. I'm still voting for Barak, but I understand what Jophn is saying.

Posted by Wylie | October 29, 2008 3:20 PM

I just saw the special. He look ready to lead to me. and not so full of anger, hate and negativity. I would like to see him win.

Posted by Micky Galt | October 29, 2008 6:15 PM

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