WASHINGTON—Hillary Clinton is not conceding the change message to chief White House rival Barack Obama, as ads start in Iowa and New Hampshire touting her as the candidate who could “change things in this country.” Wednesday marked a new phase for the 2008 frontrunners’ campaigns, the rollout of both contenders running paid advertising at the same time. In this case, the dueling video ads on the subject of change. Minutes after Clinton’s team announced her spots via e-mail on Wednesday, the Obama campaign said an Obama change themed ad will run in Iowa.
Click below for Clinton campaign memo and text of Obama spot.
“If we have the conviction, She has the experience,” a narrator in the the 32 second spot says. “If we are ready for change, she is ready to lead.” Clinton is more aggressively making the point that change can’t happen without experience aiming at Obama’s Achilles Heel, his shorter track record.
Clinton is also trying to not allow Obama to consolidate support as a “movement” candidate, repeating the word “we” throughout the spot. "We will change things in this country, because we want it. Because we have one candidate who spent her life fighting for it. Standing up for our families, our children, our veterans."
A memo issued by the Clinton campaign on Wednesday said, “With its Labor Day kickoff and now the release of a new ad, “Change,” in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign is making clear, as Hillary said on the stump this week, “Change is just a word without the strength and experience to make it happen.” She has outlined how she would be the best able to get results, saying that change takes the right mix of knowing how and when to find common ground and when to stand your ground.’’
The Obama spot—a montage of still pictures, not video tape—is titled as the “change ad” and features an announcer highlighting Obama work on an ethics bill while a state Senator, a bill to get more federal spending available on the Internet and another measure requiring lobbyists to disclose some of their fund-raising activity.
It ends with this “movement” appeal Obama: "We are going to take back our government; we are going to make a change."
The spot is Clinton's second in Iowa and the first she has run in New Hampshire. Obama has run biographical spots in Iowa.
Obama: I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.
Announcer: When he passed Illinois' most sweeping ethics reforms in a generation...
It wasn't to win favors from political insiders. When he passed laws to reveal federal spending online... And force lobbyists to disclose campaign fundraising, it wasn't to score points with the powers in Washington. It was because Barack Obama believes government should work for people -- and together we can make that happen.
Obama: "We are going to take back our government; we are going to make a change."
To: Interested Parties
From: The Clinton Campaign
RE: Change & Experience: The Ad
As summer turns to autumn, Change is in the air.
The question that voters are asking is: who can best deliver it?
With its Labor Day kickoff and now the release of a new ad, “Change,” in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign is making clear, as Hillary said on the stump this week, “Change is just a word without the strength and experience to make it happen.” She has outlined how she would be the best able to get results, saying that change takes the right mix of knowing how and when to find common ground and when to stand your ground.
The new ad conveys that Hillary is uniquely able to deliver the change Americans want: ending the war in Iraq, passing universal health coverage, making America energy independent.
By touting Hillary’s experiences as a change agent, the Clinton campaign is making clear that to make change happen, you need the kind of strength and experience Hillary has accrued during her more than 35 years of advocacy (as illustrated in today’s New York Times story about Hillary’s college years).
Multiple polls are validating this point: Last month’s CNN poll revealed that despite the efforts of others to portray themselves as change agents, 40 percent think Clinton is the candidate most likely to actually bring change – a finding that places her well ahead of the other candidates. The June NBC/WSJ poll, 61% of Democrats and Democratic primary voters are very confident that Hillary would bring real change to the direction of the country. Among those for whom change is most important – working middle-class and low-income families, seniors, working women, and people without health care – Hillary is viewed as the most effective champion.
Today’s ad echoes these themes and touches on the four goals for change Hillary has been discussing on the campaign trail: Restoring America’s leadership in the world; rebuilding the middle class economy; reclaiming the future for our children; and bringing back the values of integrity, fairness and tolerance in America.
By offering voters “big goals for change” imbued with a case for why she is the candidate best able to achieve that change, Hillary is making a clear case for why she is the best choice for Democratic voters who want to make change happen in 2008.