Recently in Hillary Rodham Clinton Category
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 12:55 PM
Hillary Rodham Clinton takes center stage in Denver tonight for her speech at the Democratic National Convention. But as Democrats scramble to project a message of party unity, Republicans are also putting the New York senator front and center -- in a series of new attack ads intended to keep the focus on Democratic divisions.
On Monday, John McCain's camp released "Debra," in which former Clinton delegate Debra Bartoshevich endorses the Arizona senator. "I respect his maverick and independent streak, and now he's the one with the experience and judgment," Bartoshevich says. "A lot of Democrats will vote McCain. It's OK, really!"
The Wisconsin Democratic Party rescinded Bartoshevich's delegate status in July after she publicly stated that she would vote for McCain if Barack Obama won the nomination over Clinton.
In another negative spot released Tuesday morning, the McCain camp explicitly borrows from Clinton's infamous "3 a.m." ad released during the Democratic primary campaign. McCain's version uses the same stock footage and voice-over as the Clinton spot and suggests that the New York senator was right to question Obama's readiness to lead. The ad also shows video of nuclear missiles and Islamic radicals to reiterate the Republicans' claim that the next president will take office at a dangerous point in history and must be ready to protect America.
Monday, August 25, 2008 5:37 PM
The McCain camp is asking the same question that large numbers of Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters are asking -- why isn't she Barack Obama's VP? The campaign released "Passed Over" early Sunday -- 3 a.m., to be exact. Not coincidentally, this is the same time Obama sent a text message announcing Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., as his running mate. It also harks back to Clinton's infamous "3 a.m." ad on national security.
"She won millions of votes, but isn't on his ticket. Why?" an announcer chides. "For speaking the truth." The ad goes on to air footage of Clinton criticizing Obama on a number of points, including his involvement with convicted Chicago developer Tony Rezko, something a spot the campaign released last week scrutinized as well. The ad concludes by implying this criticism is why the Illinois senator didn't pick Clinton as his running mate: "The truth hurt. And Obama didn't like it."
The ad doesn't actually mention the words "passed over" and doesn't attempt to persuade Clinton supporters to vote for John McCain. Nonetheless, the spot capitalized on a touchy issue at an opportune time, right before the Democratic convention officially started today. By highlighting the divisive relationship between the two Democrats and the still-fresh political wounds millions of Clinton supporters may be feeling, the campaign is implicitly suggesting McCain is a better option for these voters than Obama.
What does Clinton think about the spot? She's not too pleased, according to this statement issued today by spokeswoman Kathleen Strand: "Hillary Clinton's support of Barack Obama is clear. She has said repeatedly that Barack Obama and she share a commitment to changing the direction of the country, getting us out of Iraq, and expanding access to health care. John McCain doesn't. It's interesting how those remarks didn't make it into his ad."
Barack Obama can't rest easy just yet. Having fought Hillary Rodham Clinton across some 56 contests, he now faces the unenviable task of winning over her most ardent supporters. In addition to the demographic blocs that have provided her an enduring base from primary to primary, Clinton has been able to draw on support from political organizations and wealthy donors, who have continued buying pro-Clinton ads well into the final contests.
Even as late as Tuesday, her allies were still investing in last-minute advertising on her behalf. The day of the final primary votes, WomenCount Political Action Committee published a new print advertisement [PDF] in response to the Democratic National Committee's decision Saturday to reinstate Florida and Michigan delegates with half-votes.
The ad, which ran in USA Today and the New York Times, takes issue with those who would overlook Clinton's support and suggests the resistance that Obama might face as he tries to unite an emotionally raw party. "You're still not listening," reads the ad. "Our votes are our voice." Clinton would make much the same point in her speech later that night, when she said, "I want the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard and no longer to be invisible."
Monday, June 2, 2008 4:50 PM
After winning the Puerto Rico primary this Sunday, Hillary Rodham Clinton wasted no time in --pushing the claim to-->arguing to the superdelegates that she now leads the popular vote, with over 17 million primary voters having cast ballots in her favor. While many Democrats dispute Clinton's count, which includes votes from Florida and Michigan and estimates from some caucus states, that hasn't stopped her from touting the figure in a new TV ad running today and tomorrow in South Dakota and Montana, sites of the final two Democratic primary contests.
"17 Million" (subscription) echoes the appeal of other recent Clinton advertising, rallying local viewers by telling them their votes are still important while signaling to outside observers that she isn't leaving the fight. Asserting that she has won more primary votes than any other candidate, the spot goes on to cite this support itself as reason for South Dakota and Montana voters to pull the lever for Clinton. "Some say there isn't a single reason for Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee," an announcer says. "They're right. There are over 17 million of them."
Whether or not "17 Million" persuades Democratic voters, it offers a distillation of what could be Clinton's final appeal to her party's establishment: that she's won more votes, in more important states, and simply by staying in the race has proved she's the most effective candidate to address tough issues such as Iraq and the economy. With Barack Obama less than 50 delegates away from the nomination, according to CNN's estimate, and primary voting finally finished on Tuesday, she's under more pressure than ever to make her case.
Barack Obama may post the more impressive fundraising totals, but there's still big money riding on Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy, as evidenced by the continued efforts of the American Leadership Project, a 527 group funded by donors and labor unions that have endorsed Clinton. The ALP has run ads on her behalf in several states since its first spot debuted during the Ohio primary campaign, and on Wednesday it demonstrated --its-->continuing support for the New York senator by launching new TV ads in Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico.
In "Squeezed" (subscription), slightly different versions of which are airing in Montana and South Dakota, local references bring home the ad's larger point that Clinton's economic policies will directly benefit voters in each state, particularly those in the middle class "squeezed" between rising gas and food prices. The ALP is also airing a Spanish-language ad in Puerto Rico touting Clinton's bona fides on improving health care. While the island territory votes June 1, Clinton has yet to run ads there herself, possibly because recent polling shows her up significantly over Obama.
Hoping a lucky break could still send the nomination --their-->her way, the --campaign of -->Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign is pressing on with its ground efforts, promising "a Clinton in South Dakota every day" until the June 3 vote ends the string of Democratic primaries and caucuses that began five months ago. Coinciding with her last week of campaign events, Clinton has released two new ads in the state addressing now-familiar themes of her endgame messaging.
The first, a TV spot called "Responsibility" (subscription), addresses voters' economic anxieties, pledging that Clinton will "end $55 billion dollars in giveaways to corporate special interests, reduce the deficit and protect Social Security." As she has since her narrow win in Indiana, Clinton avoids direct attacks on Barack Obama, saving the vitriol for President Bush, whose policies are sending the economy "into a tailspin," according to the ad's announcer.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:40 PM
Even before the first ballots were cast in today's Kentucky and Oregon primaries, Hillary Rodham Clinton was already pressing on into new territory, releasing her first ad of the campaign in South Dakota -- one of the two last states to vote in the Democratic contest.
But if the market was new, the ad was not. Called "Falling Through" (subscription), it has been a staple of the Clinton campaign's ad lineup since it first aired in South Carolina four months ago. The spot compares "the Bush economy" to a trapdoor for middle-class families and promises that Clinton could be an able steward of the economy. Like the rest of Clinton's advertising since the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, it eschews attacks on Barack Obama in favor of promises to help working Americans.
As she has in so many recent primary contests, Clinton plans to keep the focus on economic concerns in her advertising and campaign stops in South Dakota, according to campaign spokesman Brendan Gilfillan. "She touched on it in her first rally when she came to Sioux Falls, and about the rural economy in her second stop," he said. "It's an important theme here in South Dakota."
And despite increased pressure for Clinton to exit the race, all signs point to her continuing the campaign until South Dakota and Montana cast the final ballots of the primary: Clinton's camp today released her "South Dakota Native-American agenda" and announced she would be returning for another visit to the state on Friday. "We've had a couple visits from Senator Clinton and a couple from President Clinton," Gilfillan said. "It's going to be full speed ahead in South Dakota."
Monday, May 19, 2008 11:40 AM
Hillary Rodham Clinton has devoted much of her endgame advertising to touting her reputation for pugnacity, but with conventional wisdom coalescing behind Barack Obama, she's been forced to back off the harsh rhetoric of recent primaries in favor of blander, less divisive economic appeals. The shift is evident in a raft of new ads just released by Clinton and her allies in Oregon and Kentucky.
Clinton's Kentucky campaign office on Friday announced it would be airing two new spots in the state focusing on the economy. In the first of these, "Right Track" (subscription), Clinton pledges to "put America back on the right track" by shifting the tax burden off of the middle class and onto the wealthy. Her second Kentucky ad, actually a reworked version of an old spot (subscription), features Clinton supporters in Ohio and Indiana who say her economic policies will help make their lives better.
Besides promoting her policy credentials in a state that has seen its share of economic troubles, the media buy is a signal from the Clinton camp that she intends to stay in the race, even as the ads' sunnier tone signals an acknowledgment that the rules of engagement have changed. And while polling and demographic data suggest tomorrow's vote could produce a Clinton blowout, her campaign may consider the advertising worthwhile -- despite the operation's outstanding $20 million debt -- because the Democratic Party's proportional allotment of delegates rewards running up big wins.
Dismissing calls for her exit -- and setting aside for the moment her $20 million debt -- Hillary Rodham Clinton this weekend pressed ahead with her campaign in West Virginia and Oregon, expanding her ad buy in both states. Breaking the mold of previous Democratic primary contests, both she and Barack Obama have so far refrained from negative advertising in the run-up to votes in both states -- reflecting a larger shift in tone from Clinton's camp.
In a new spot (subscription) released Friday in Oregon, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, outed CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, say they support Clinton because she can best end the war in Iraq. "She has been a leader in pushing the administration for a serious exit strategy," Plame says. "She'll get the job done," agrees her husband. Equally positive--, if less serious,--> is a second endorsement spot (subscription), which aired in Oregon on Mother's Day, featuring Chelsea Clinton --talking about why-->discussing how her mother's values --recommend her to be-->would be an asset to her as the first female president.
Clinton was no less active in West Virginia, where voters head to the polls today, releasing a slightly updated version of a populist economic spot (subscription) that ran previously in Texas. She also put out a last-minute radio ad --lambasting the opinion of-->to counter pundits who have written off the Mountain State as an easy Clinton win. "In Washington, some people say the presidential primary in West Virginia doesn't much matter," an announcer says. "But you know what? Tuesday we can show them." He goes on to remind listeners that "no president has been elected president without winning West Virginia for almost 100 years," and he praises Clinton's economic policies.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2:57 PM
Just days after expanding her paid media effort into Oregon, Hillary Rodham Clinton is on the air in West Virginia with a slightly tweaked version of a populist economic spot (subscription) that first aired in South Carolina. In "Falling Through," Clinton speaks to voters' sense of economic anxiety, comparing the Bush economy to a trapdoor and promising "to be a president who stands up for all of you."
"Falling Through" joins advertising from Barack Obama already on air in West Virginia, where Democratic voters will head to the polls on May 13. What limited statewide polling is available shows signs that Clinton already enjoys a sizable lead in the Mountain State, but given the proportional allotment of delegates under Democratic Party rules -- not to mention the volatility of the race so far -- it's been in both candidates' interests to invest even in states they could be assumed to safely carry.
Monday, May 5, 2008 2:02 PM
Though her media team is already looking ahead to the upcoming Oregon primary, Hillary Rodham Clinton hasn't forgotten Indiana or North Carolina just yet. Since Thursday, her campaign has debuted four TV ads in those two states: an attack ad targeting Barack Obama, a new endorsement spot, an ad on kitchen-table issues in Indiana and a reworked version of an older ad contrasting Clinton's economic plans with those of President Bush.
The campaign's new attack ad running in both states takes issue with Obama's opposition to the proposed suspension of the gas tax, which Clinton says she would fund by diverting subsidies away from oil companies. "What has happened to Barack Obama?" an announcer asks. "He is attacking Hillary's plan to give you a break on gas prices because he doesn't have one." Reinforcing one of the key elements of Clinton's campaign, the announcer portrays her as more in touch with working people, claiming, "Hillary's the one who gets it."
Monday, May 5, 2008 12:15 PM
After being beaten --beat onto the air-->to the airwaves by Barack Obama in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana, Hillary Rodham Clinton has once again --the-->followed closely behind her opponent with a new ad buy in Oregon -- her first advertising in the state.
The move has symbolic importance given the ongoing calls for Clinton to concede the nomination to Obama; by investing in Oregon --airtime-->before Indiana or North Carolina have voted, she signals her commitment to fight on in the Beaver State's May 20 primary regardless of the outcome in those two states tomorrow.
--The ad itself, -->"Turn" represents something of a scrapbook of past Clinton advertising, mixing together footage and policy proposals from several previous ads. It's clearly tailored for Oregon Democrats, however, opening with Clinton addressing the state's voters directly and going on to tout her pledges to withdraw troops from Iraq within 60 days and create more green jobs. "It's going to take a fighter to meet these challenges," Clinton concludes, reminding voters once again of the talking point that has become her candidacy's raison d'etre.
Since Super Tuesday, advertising in the Democratic presidential campaign has followed a similar pattern for each contest: start nice, finish nasty. Three new spots from Hillary Rodham Clinton today -- two largely positive and one that contrasts her economic policies with those of Barack Obama -- could be the first sign that the campaign in North Carolina and Indiana --is playing-->will play out that way as well.
Clinton's more assertive new ad, "Trouble," --paints-->portrays her as the only candidate who can fix a troubled economy. More specifically, it praises her for proposing a freeze on foreclosures and supporting John McCain's plan to suspend the gas tax temporarily. Not surprisingly, McCain receives no credit for the idea; the ad does, however, make sure to mention Obama's opposition to each measure.
If the distinction between "contrast ads" and "attack ads" has any meaning -- with contrast ads highlighting a policy distinction between the candidates and attack ads focusing more critically and personally on their opponent -- "Trouble" would have to be classified as the former. It eschews the confrontational tone of some of Clinton's closing argument ads in Pennsylvania, doesn't dwell on Obama's position and pointedly maintains its upbeat tone and background music throughout. But it's the first ad from either candidate in North Carolina or Indiana to mention the other by name.
Monday, April 28, 2008 4:36 PM
So far, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have held off running negative ads against each other in North Carolina and Indiana. Apparently, they prefer to save their attacks for oil companies, which are taking a beating from both sides as gas prices continue their ascent into record territory.
This weekend, Clinton released "Cost" in both states, criticizing oil companies in some of the harshest terms of the campaign and promising tough leadership to help working families at the pump. Among the proposals the ad mentions: "Take some of the windfall profits of Big Oil to pay to suspend the gas tax this summer" (the so-called "gas-tax holiday" was first proposed by John McCain); investigate energy companies for "price gouging and collusion"; and make them "invest in new clean energy sources."
By promising to alleviate high gas prices, the ad presents Clinton as a problem-solver who would make a real difference in people's lives and furthers the message of Clinton's other spots in North Carolina and Indiana, which have focused more on the economy than any other issue. That's not to say Clinton's media team has completely stopped needling the competition. The new spot's closing line -- "With gas this expensive, talk is cheap. We need leadership." -- sounds a lot like her camp's earlier efforts to paint Obama as all talk and no action.
For all the money poured into Pennsylvania in the last two weeks, Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign must have been saving some of its ad budget for the next two contests, in Indiana and North Carolina. Today Clinton released new ads in each state, --and-->both --spots are-->notably free of the vitriol that came to dominate Pennsylvania airwaves.
"I think this election, particularly here in Indiana, is about jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs," says Clinton at the start of her newest ad in Indiana--, called "Jobs."-->. Picking up the economic theme of her two previous Hoosier State ads, --the new buy--> "Jobs" hits many familiar Clinton points -- she'll "fix unfair trade deals" and "stop tax breaks" for outsourcing companies -- --to end-->and ends with an uplifting message about --on "your jobs, your health care, your futures."-->"putting the American people first."
Monday, April 21, 2008 5:45 PM
If undecided voters in the Keystone State aren't swayed by the deluge of ads coming from the Clinton and Obama camps, several third-party groups have stepped in to make the case for their preferred Democrat.
With Barack Obama spending nearly three times more than his opponent on advertising in Pennsylvania, a pro-Hillary Rodham Clinton 527 group, The American Leadership Project, hoped to help level the playing field by launching an ad last week attacking Obama's health care policy. "Hillary Clinton's health care plan would help every American get affordable, quality health care; Barack Obama's plan would leave as many as 15 million Americans uncovered," an announcer claims. "So you would either be one of the millions without coverage, or you'll keep paying more to provide emergency health care for the millions of uninsured."
The group is funded largely by two unions that have endorsed Clinton, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Machinists Union, but has also received contributions from individual donors who have already given the maximum $2,300 directly to the Clinton campaign. The New York Times reports that ALP has had trouble fundraising, however, and will only spend about $425,000 in Pennsylvania, though the group says it intends to play a bigger role in the upcoming Indiana contest.
Given the intensity of the competition between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Pennsylvania primary campaign, it's hardly surprising that both candidates released a flurry of new advertising over the weekend -- or that much of it was negative.
By some measures, Clinton's camp has toned down its --advertising from-->message since last week -- when one report suggested she was running only attack ads in many parts of the state -- but her latest slew of advertising could hardly be described as a soft sell. Of the five new TV ads Clinton unveiled in the past 24 hours, one implicitly questions Obama's experience and two others are direct attacks.
"Kitchen" makes something of a historical case against Obama. Using footage of the Pearl Harbor attack, Nikita Khrushchev, gas lines in the '70s, Osama bin Laden and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the spot makes a classic sales pitch for the "experience" candidate without ever mentioning Obama directly. "It's the toughest job in the world.... Who do you think has what it takes?" an announcer asks.
"It's really our closing argument in Pennsylvania, unlike Senator Obama's closing argument that has really been negative and an assault on Senator Clinton," said Clinton strategist Geoff Garin in a conference call with reporters. When pressed on the ad's implicit contrast between Obama's readiness to lead and Clinton's, Garin called it "entirely a positive ad." "To say that she is the best choice" to lead the country, "there's nothing negative about that," he added.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:54 AM
While the Democratic ad war in Pennsylvania becomes increasingly embittered, the airwaves in Indiana and North Carolina -- the two primary contests after the Keystone State -- have remained notably free of internecine mudslinging.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's newest television spot, her second in Indiana after last week's endorsement ad from Sen. Evan Bayh, continues that trend by focusing criticism on President Bush and the effect of his policies on America's security and the state's economy.
Moving quickly to exploit the opening created by Barack Obama's recent statements regarding small-town voters, Hillary Rodham Clinton went up in Pennsylvania today with an ad purporting to voice the reaction of regular voters to Obama's comment. The TV spot has the further distinction of being a clear contender for the most aggressively negative ad of the Democratic contest so far.
"Pennsylvania" opens by quoting Obama's remark that some small-town Americans "cling to guns or religion... as a way to explain their frustration." It then spotlights the reactions of five Keystone State voters, including a woman who "was very insulted" and a man who says, "The good people of Pennsylvania deserve a lot better."
Monday, April 14, 2008 11:19 AM
Hillary Rodham Clinton and her surrogates are playing political hardball in Pennsylvania right now, but in North Carolina -- where Barack Obama maintains a double-digit lead in polling -- she appears to be treading more lightly. In two new ads out in the Tar Heel State, Clinton makes no mention of last week's sniping over oil company money or this weekend's spat over Obama's remarks in San Francisco, focusing instead on Clinton's biography and her plans to address record high gas prices.
After a raft of new TV ads that pointedly declined to pick a fight with either of her presidential opponents, Hillary Rodham Clinton is up in Pennsylvania today with a new radio spot (subscription) harshly criticizing Barack Obama for his rhetoric on energy prices.
"In his TV ads, Barack Obama sounds like he'll take on the oil companies," an announcer says in the ad, which uses excerpts from an Obama spot on energy policy currently running in the state. Citing a report from the Annenberg-funded Factcheck.org that called Obama's ad "a little too slick," Clinton's radio spot implies that Obama's rhetoric has little substance to back it up -- echoing a familiar line from the New York senator's campaign.
The spot also attacks Obama for supporting "the Bush-Cheney energy bill" while "Hillary Clinton voted against that bill." It's the spot's closer, however, that truly drives home the campaign's overall message in unusually stark terms: "It's time for a president who takes on the oil companies in real life, not just on TV."
In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson fumed over Obama's heavy paid-media investment in the state, accusing him of "doing everything he can on the air to buy this election in Pennsylvania" with an "unprecedented ad buy." He also blamed Obama's spot -- which makes no mention of Clinton but which Wolfson repeatedly called "misleading" and "not accurate" -- for forcing Clinton to release her ad.
"Senator Obama was urged to take the spot down by this campaign.... He has chosen not to do that," Wolfson said. "So it becomes incumbent upon us to set the record straight for voters in Pennsylvania."
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 3:30 PM
After getting off to a slow start on the air in the Keystone State (which polls suggest may turn out to be a closer contest than many first expected) Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign today announced an ambitious new ad blitz.
The buy, which will run in markets across the state, includes three new ads, one revamped spot and one previously aired Spanish-language ad. In a press release, the campaign said, "The ads highlight Hillary's ability to get the job done as president -- her commitment to jumpstarting our economy, standing up for the middle class, and bringing quality, universal health care to all Americans."
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 12:42 PM
Hillary Rodham Clinton opened another front in the ad war today, joining rival Barack Obama on the air in Indiana with a new TV spot (subscription) featuring the endorsement of Evan Bayh, the state's junior senator and a frequently mentioned candidate to be Clinton's running mate.
In the ad, which consists almost entirely of Bayh speaking directly into the camera, the Indiana senator touts Clinton's toughness, particularly on the economy, and runs through a number of her campaign's key message points.
"We need a leader who'll fight for good jobs, change trade deals like NAFTA, cut taxes for middle-class families," he says. "Someone who's ready to be commander in chief from Day One." Bayh also notes the two decades he's known Clinton -- a personal touch that validates his judgment of Clinton's character while recalling her argument that she is the most experienced Democrat in the presidential race.
Clinton has used a similar advertising strategy in previous contests: Her campaign ran an ad (subscription) before the Ohio primary featuring the endorsement of former Sen. John Glenn. But the newest spot's no-frills approach and praise for Clinton's "spine of steel" most recall a John McCain ad from December called "Backbone Of Steel" (subscription), in which major league pitcher Curt Schilling endorsed the Arizona senator.
Friday, April 4, 2008 4:00 PM
"If you are looking for a typical political commercial, switch the channel," advises Hillary Rodham Clinton at the start of her first ad (subscription) in North Carolina, a minute-long TV spot debuting in the Tar Heel State today.
But while the ad, which asks viewers to send questions at www.NCAskMe.com, is a departure from the media strategy Clinton's used in recent primaries, its direct appeal looks a lot like the campaign's early series of conversational Web videos, as well as Clinton's personal appeals to Granite State voters during the dark days following Barack Obama's Iowa win.
Still, the statewide ad represents a significant investment for the Clinton campaign, which in March reportedly raised just half the campaign funds brought in by Obama that month. The Obama campaign has been on the air in North Carolina for a week already, putting the pressure on Clinton to divert media dollars from her ongoing Pennsylvania ads to avoid ceding the airwaves to her rival.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008 5:15 PM
Just when it looked as if Hillary Rodham Clinton would effectively cede Pennsylvania's airwaves to Barack Obama for another week, leaving surrogates to fight on her behalf, her campaign today announced the release of a new TV spot recalling the "3 a.m." ad (subscription) it ran in Texas last month.
Borrowing the imagery of that ad, which touted Clinton's readiness to be commander in chief during a national security emergency, "Ringing" (subscription) focuses instead on Clinton's economic acumen: "There's a phone ringing in the White House, and this time the crisis is economic."