Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's Infomercial

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Tonight, Senator Obama takes to the airwaves with an infomercial about his campaign. This is where he will make his closing argument directly to the American people. The late deciders, particularly women and independent voters.

Politico writes that some say the infomercial could backfire, while others - such as myself - say it can only help. Because while a Hillary Clinton televised town hall earlier this year was viewed by just under a million people, the last presidential candidate to buy 30-minute infomercials received an audience of 26 million viewers.

That was in 1992, when Ross Perot took to the airwaves to re-insert himself into the presidential race. The setting of the infomercials were all the same: Perot in his office, with a series of flip charts outlining the nation's problems and his proposed solutions. This plain-spoken series was the most impressive aspect of an otherwise quirky campaign, and it vaulted him from single digits in the polls to an eventual 19% share of the popular vote.

Clearly, Obama does not have the same need to introduce himself to the people in a way that Ross Perot did 16 years ago. Though he can only benefit from having the undivided attention of a national viewership days before an election which will present a monumental shift in our nation's future.

This infomercial will allow Senator Obama to cut through the negative ads, the attack robo calls, and offer more than just a 2-minute proposal to people during commercial breaks.

It's also reminiscent of FDR's "fireside chats" that we've read about in history books. It's good to know that a leader isn't going to wait until a time of crisis to communicate with the people.

I know you are all watching tonight - and I hope you'll encourage your Republican and undecided friends to do the same.