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  • 16Sep

    GOP Campaign Ads Starring Obama

    From npr

    Two years ago, Barack Obama fever was so hot that even some Republicans caught it, like Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith.
    One of his ads trumpeted: “Who says Gordon Smith helped lead the fight for better gas mileage and a cleaner environment? Barack Obama!”

    And Smith wasn’t the only one.

    Republican Chris Shays ran for re-election to the House that same year. His campaign ran an ad saying Shays stood for “the hopefulness of Obama” and the “straight talk of [John] McCain.”

    Both those attempts to ride the Obama coattails failed. And today, Republicans are using President Obama’s image in a very different way.

    Ken Goldstein of the University of Wisconsin, Madison says you can learn a lot by watching political ads — they’re what poker players call a “tell.”

    “Imagine that you’d been away for the last year. You hadn’t been following this campaign at all; you didn’t know what Barack Obama’s approval rating was,” he says. “If we just sat down and showed you 10 ads of Democrats in competitive races and 10 ads of Republicans in competitive races, you would know that things were going to be pretty tough for President Obama and the Democrats this fall.”

    Using The President As A Weapon

    Two years ago, virtually every Democrat included Obama in campaign materials. Today, if you want to see Obama with his arm around a Democratic candidate, the best place to look is a Republican ad.

    Take Republican Roy Blunt’s Senate ad against Democrat Robin Carnahan in Missouri.

    “Robin Carnahan will say anything to hide her record rubber-stamping the Obama agenda,” a female voice intones. Then a clip of President Obama comes onscreen. “It would have already been done if I’d had Robin Carnahan there,” he says.

    Republicans are using the president as a weapon — and not only against Democrats.

    “The Tea Party groups that have run ads are really trying to tie Republicans to Obama,” says Evan Tracey, who runs the Campaign Media Analysis Group. “This was the case in Alaska with Lisa Murkowski, where the Tea Party group was basically running ads saying that Lisa Murkowski was just like President Obama.”

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