Barack Obama will be a one-man television blitz on Wednesday, saturating prime-time with a 30-minute ad and popping up on the buzzy late-night TV scene.
He is also giving an interview to a prominent network news anchor, and appearing with fellow Democratic star Bill Clinton at a rally that is timed to hit the late-evening news.
So that line in Obama’s stump speech about how parents need to turn the television off more at home? He might make an exception this day.
The TV campaign comes as Obama, ahead in national and swing-state polls over Republican John McCain, tries to win over teetering voters right from the comfort of their couches.
The election is six days away.
The centerpiece of the effort is Obama’s infomercial. It is rare for a candidate to buy a block of prime-time real estate to tell his story. Plenty costly, too.
The ad is expected to be a video montage of typical people talking about the challenges they face, with Obama explaining how he can help. A campaign adviser said the taped ad will feature a live cut-in to Obama, who is scheduled to be at a rally in Florida at the time.
The Obama team bought time on CBS, NBC and Fox for about $1 million per network. The spot airs at 8 p.m. EDT. It is also scheduled to run on Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One.
Flush with cash from his record-shattering fundraising, Obama uses that advantage by buying up media time in ways that McCain cannot.
McCain is purchasing loads of ad time, too. But the disparity between Obama and the Republicans is so wide that it has allowed Obama to spend in more states than McCain, appear more frequently in key markets and diversify his messages — some positive, some negative.
And negative is the tone for the latest Obama ad, a 30-second spot aimed at key states that uses McCain’s own words against him and mocks running mate Sarah Palin. Three quotes, one from 2005 and two from 2007, play off McCain’s acknowledgment that he knows less about economic matters than other issues. In the last quote, McCain says he might have to rely on his vice president for expertise — and then the spot cuts to a winking Palin.
Obama is campaigning Wednesday in North Carolina and Florida.
During a stop in Raleigh, N.C., he will be interviewed by Charlie Gibson of ABC’s “World News.”
Later, in Florida, Obama will tape an appearance on Comedy Central’s irreverent “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. The segment will run at 11 p.m. EDT.
Obama may even be competing with himself.
During the same 11 p.m. slot, Obama is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally for the first time with Clinton, whose wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, lost to Obama in the primaries.
The uniting of the former president and the would-be president in Kissimmee, Fla., is sure to draw live local and national television coverage.
And that’s not all.
On Thursday, Obama is giving interviews to Brian Williams, anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News,” and to Rachel Maddow, the host of an evening show on MSNBC.
Two viewers who don’t seem excited about all the exposure are Obama’s two young daughters.
Appearing on Jay Leno’s talk show Monday, Obama’s wife, Michelle, said 10-year-old daughter Malia got a little worried to hear that her dad’s infomercial would blanket TV.
“‘You’re going to be on all the TV? Are you going to interrupt my TV?’” her mother said Malia asked.
Michelle Obama said the presidential candidate assured his daughter that he hadn’t bought time on the Disney Channel.