A huge percentage of Americans plan to tune in for the London Olympics over the next couple weeks, making the Games a prime opportunity for the dueling presidential campaigns to appeal to the public.
The tale of the Olympics ad tape so far: President Obama is going big and positive, the GOP is sticking with smaller, negative attacks.
On Friday, the Obama campaign announced it will debut a campaign ad aimed at the whole country during the Opening Ceremony. The following will run in a national buy Friday evening, according to the Obama campaign:
It’s a positive ad that, in keeping with other recent Obama spots, shrinks the president’s campaign stump speech into a convenient take-home size.
The RNC is taking a different tack. In ads targeted to the swing states debuting Friday, the GOP ads are largely negative in tone. The new ad running in North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and Virginia paints the 2009 stimulus as a disastrous boondoggle and warns that Obama wants to try another one if re-elected. Obama has called for new government investments in infrastructure, education and other areas but has so far not proposed anything on the scale of the 2009 stimulus package.
The ad is the latest in the RNC’s series of spots aimed at disillusioned 2008 Obama. Another ad in the series, which includes the tagline “He tried, you tried — it’s OK to make a change” is also running during a new Olympics buy, the RNC said.
The Olympics buys guarantee the ads will be widely viewed, but the steep price for such prime advertising virtually guarantees that such purchases will be limited to the presidential candidates. Roll Call reported Friday that “the entry fee and timing make it unlikely that most down-ballot candidates will enter the fray.”
Despite the preponderance of campaign ads during the Games, viewers won’t see any ads containing Olympics footage (Romney, especially, might have been compelled to use footage to highlight his record running the 2002 Winter Olympics). That’s because the U.S. Olympic Committee has banned such footage from appearing in from political advertising.