Obama gambles on lengthy economic ad

OBAMA GAMBLES ON LENGTHY ECONOMIC AD…. Audiences have grown accustomed to certain kinds of political advertising. The new spot from the Obama campaign is a little something different.

The spot is two minutes long, making it four times as long as the typical campaign ad. It’s not too unusual to see a spot like this at the very end of a campaign, in something like a “closing statement,” but this is just Barack Obama talking to the camera about the economy.

“In the past few weeks, Wall Street’s been rocked as banks closed and markets tumbled,” Obama says in the ad. “But for many of you — the people I’ve met in town halls, backyards and diners across America — our troubled economy isn’t news. 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs since January. Paychecks are flat and home values are falling. It’s hard to pay for gas and groceries and if you put it on a credit card they’ve probably raised your rates. You’re paying more than ever for health insurance that covers less and less. This isn’t just a string of bad luck. The truth is that while you’ve been living up to your responsibilities Washington has not. That’s why we need change. Real change.

“This is no ordinary time and it shouldn’t be an ordinary election. But much of this campaign has been consumed by petty attacks and distractions that have nothing to do with you or how we get America back on track. Here’s what I believe we need to do. Reform our tax system to give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class instead of showering more on oil companies and corporations that outsource our jobs. End the “anything goes” culture on Wall Street with real regulation that protects your investments and pensions. Fast track a plan for energy ‘made-in-America’ that will free us from our dependence on mid-east oil in 10 years and put millions of Americans to work. Crack down on lobbyists – once and for all — so their back-room deal-making no longer drowns out the voices of the middle class and undermines our common interests as Americans. And yes, bring a responsible end to this war in Iraq so we stop spending billions each month rebuilding their country when we should be rebuilding ours.

“Doing these things won’t be easy. But we’re Americans. We’ve met tough challenges before. And we can again. I’m Barack Obama. I hope you’ll read my economic plan. I approved this message because bitter, partisan fights and outworn ideas of the left and the right won’t solve the problems we face today. But a new spirit of unity and shared responsibility will.”

It’s not at all flashy, but it presents Obama as sober and substantive. I don’t know if audiences are seriously prepared to sit through a two-minute commercial — people tend to have short attention spans — but Obama wants to be the responsible grown-up in the race, and this is part of the broader pitch.

The ad will reportedly begin airing today nationally and in battleground states. What’d you think of it?

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