Quietly, Obama Tweaks An Iowa Ad

It's easy to miss, but if you screened the new television advertisements Sen. Barack Obama begins to air in Iowa today, you might catch it: yesterday, when copies of the ad "Carry" were distributed to the press, the ad featured, among other Obama supporters, Tom Balanoff, the president of the Service Employees International Union local 1, which includes Chicago. He's seen on camera praising Obama's work as a community organizer.

But Balanoff is not in the ad set for air today. Instead, he's been replaced by Jerry Kellman, who hired Obama to be a community organizer.

Dan Pfeiffer, an Obama spokesman, confirmed that the ad makers removed Balanoff.

"Tom Balanoff is a longtime friend and supporter who has appeared in other materials" for the campaign, Pfeiffer said in a statement. "He was in the spot to testify as to what happened to the South Side of Chicago when the steel mills closed ... On reflection, he was concerned that his role as a member of the executive board of the SEIU international might imply an endorsement before their decision has been made, so we substituted Jerry Kellman, who hired Bartack as a community organizer in the 80s."

Pfeiffer declined to elaborate beyond the confirmation and his statement.

It's fairly common for campaigns to tweak ads in midstream, but it's not terribly common for a campaign to switch out a validator. The same ad is unique because it features praise from a Republican state legislator who endorsed Sen, John McCain.