On Friday, August 15, 2008, we posted an entry about the timing of negative ads that the Obama campaign is running. Our perception was that the Obama campaign was going quietly negative and that it had waited until McCain went negative first before running negative ads.
On August 19, 2008, the New York Times ran an article on Obama's negative ads. The article had the headline of "Obama’s Ads in Key States Go on Attack". This is a quote from the article:
Mr. Obama has begun the drive with little fanfare, often eschewing the modern campaign technique of unveiling new spots for the news media before they run in an effort to win added (free) attention. Mr. Obama, whose candidacy has been built in part on a promise to transcend traditional politics, is running the negative commercials on local stations even as he runs generally positive spots nationally, during prime-time coverage of the Olympics.
Last night on Fox 8 News out of Cleveland there were two such negative spots during the six PM newscast and one negative spot for McCain. According to the NYT article this practice of quietly going negative is happening in many battleground states. This is a quote from the Times article:
In Des Moines; Tampa, Fla.; Paducah, Ky., and at least 10 other cities, Mr. Obama is running a spot for a mock book, “Economics” by John McCain: “Support George Bush 95 percent of the time; keep spending $10 billion a month for the war in Iraq.”
On Sunday alone, Mr. Obama’s campaign spent nearly $400,000 to run those two spots more than 600 times, accounting for roughly two thirds of the commercials he ran that day, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group.
Nearly 85 percent of Mr. McCain’s 650 spots that day featured attacks against Mr. Obama, according to the service, which reports that Mr. Obama has spent $48 million on advertisements in the last two months and that Mr. McCain has spent $34 million, with the Republican National Committee spending another $3 million.
The bottom line for Obama supporters who want Obama to go negative is that he is, but you just aren't hearing about it from most of the national news media. This is, of course, exactly the point.