The Washington Post

American Crossroads ad is predictable yet effective

The ad wars in the presidential campaign are upon us with the release today of an ad from American Crossroads — Karl Rove’s super PAC that supports Mitt Romney and Republicans. The PAC says it will spend $25 million behind the buy in target states, which matches the size of the Obama campaign buy, also in target states, that went up recently.

Even the props in Republican ads are upscale: This new ad features the IT product — pardon the pun— of the past few years, the iPad. The special effects are great, as the screen of the device keeps cracking as Obama is shown making promises on health care, taxes and the deficit and then “breaking” them. Much was made today of George W. Bush not being a presence on the campaign trail for Romney, but his “brain,” Mr. Rove, the architect, is still very much with us.

The ad is completely predictable and perhaps very effective. I qualify, not only because I don't know the research and pre-testing that went into the ad but also because I'm not sure it contains much that is new to voters. Remember, Obama is already a very terrestrial figure to most people, after his brief time in the firmament.

Therein lies the Romney dilemma: Obama is already defined, but their guy is not. So, and I am aware of the irony in this sentence, more “downside” for Romney than Obama. But my guess is that this ad was poked and prodded, modified and tested more than a new potato chip, and that the fine strategists over at American Crossroads have high hopes for their $25 million.


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