Change is in the air. But what does it mean? Or rather -- what needs to be changed?
Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will begin airing television ads today called "Change." The Obama campaign considers the "change" rationale to be their turf, and so they might view Clinton's decision to lean into her own "change" credentials as a sign that the Clinton campaign believes that Democrats are more interested in change then they are in experience.
Clinton's campaign would say this: Clinton scores highly on the change quotient, and if she can convince that her change dividend is enough, then she's neutralized a critical threat from Obama. And Clinton's strategists say that Clinton scores the highest among those working class Democrats who want to change their material conditions.
The two ads show how both candidates define change differently.
Obama's ad, which will air in Iowa, "it wasn't to score points with the powers in Washington. It was because Barack Obama wants government to work for people." At the end of the ad, Obama uses a phrase reminiscent of Howard Dean's thundering campaign stump speech circa 2003: "We're going to take our country back."
Here's the script of Clinton's, which airs in New Hampshire:
"We will change things in this country. Because we want it. Because we have one candidate who spent her life fighting for it. Standing up for our families, our children, our veterans." "We will end this war. We will give health coverage to everyone. We will be energy independent." "If we have the will, she has the strength. If we have the conviction, she has the experience. If we’re ready for change, she’s ready to lead."
Clinton's campaign also sent out a memo supporting their decision to go with "change." It's after the jump.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2007
Contact: NH for Hillary Press Office, 603-782-4647
Kathleen Strand, 603-479-7475
Clinton Campaign to Begin Airing First
Television Ad in New Hampshire
New Hampshire for Hillary Co-chair Speaker Terie Norelli
Announces New Ad will start this week in New Hampshire
MANCHESTER, NH – New Hampshire for Hillary Co-chair, Speaker of the House Terie Norelli, today announced the first television advertisement for Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in New Hampshire. The 30-second ad, titled “Change,” is scheduled to begin airing this week in New Hampshire. The ad will also air in Iowa.
“People in this country are ready to turn the page on the current administration. They are ready for change – ready to see an end to the war in Iraq, ready for universal healthcare and energy independence and ready to see that our veterans receive the care they deserve,” said Speaker Norelli.
“Without the strength and the experience to make it happen, change is just a word. All of the candidates are talking change,” Norelli continued. “Hillary has a 35 year record of fighting for it and making it happen.”
To view the ad, please visit: http://static.hillaryclinton.com/i/video/vids/ad_20070905_changeNH.mov
Below is the text of the new Clinton television ad, “Change:”
"We will change things in this country. Because we want it. Because we have one candidate who spent her life fighting for it. Standing up for our families, our children, our veterans."
"We will end this war. We will give health coverage to everyone. We will be energy independent."
"If we have the will, she has the strength. If we have the conviction, she has the experience. If we’re ready for change, she’s ready to lead."
To: Interested Parties
From: The Clinton Campaign
RE: Change & Experience: The Ad
As summer turns to autumn, Change is in the air.
The question that voters are asking is: who can best deliver it?
With its Labor Day kickoff and now the release of a new ad, “Change,” in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign is making clear, as Hillary said on the stump this week, “Change is just a word without the strength and experience to make it happen.” She has outlined how she would be the best able to get results, saying that change takes the right mix of knowing how and when to find common ground and when to stand your ground.
The new ad conveys that Hillary is uniquely able to deliver the change Americans want: ending the war in Iraq, passing universal health coverage, making America energy independent.
By touting Hillary’s experiences as a change agent, the Clinton campaign is making clear that to make change happen, you need the kind of strength and experience Hillary has accrued during her more than 35 years of advocacy (as illustrated in today’s New York Times story about Hillary’s college years).
Multiple polls are validating this point: Last month’s CNN poll revealed that despite the efforts of others to portray themselves as change agents, 40 percent think Clinton is the candidate most likely to actually bring change – a finding that places her well ahead of the other candidates. The June NBC/WSJ poll, 61% of Democrats and Democratic primary voters are very confident that Hillary would bring real change to the direction of the country. Among those for whom change is most important – working middle-class and low-income families, seniors, working women, and people without health care – Hillary is viewed as the most effective champion.
Today’s ad echoes these themes and touches on the four goals for change Hillary has been discussing on the campaign trail: Restoring America’s leadership in the world; rebuilding the middle class economy; reclaiming the future for our children; and bringing back the values of integrity, fairness and tolerance in America.
By offering voters “big goals for change” imbued with a case for why she is the candidate best able to achieve that change, Hillary is making a clear case for why she is the best choice for Democratic voters who want to make change happen in 2008.