Before yesterday's Des Moines Register / Iowa Public Television debate, John Edwards was dark. Not pessimistic. But in the lingo ad buyers use, his campaign had almost no ads on the air in Iowa. The reason wasn't related to money -- the campaign insists it has enough to stay on the air through the early states -- it was, somehow, strategic. No further details have been tendered.
But today, the campaign, basking in the sun after a lauded debate performance, is rushing two new ads to TV stations.
One of them, according to an Edwards spokesman, was ordered by the candidate himself after he watched recorded segments from the CNN and Fox focus groups. The undecided voters in them really liked what Edwards had to say about the economy, and so Edwards asked his team to produce one on the subject. The other ad is a health care testimonial.
The campaign spokesman said the new ads will run at full capacity.
It's interesting to note, as Edwards advisers always do, that the campaign was basically dark until seven weeks before the caucuses, whereas rival campaigns had collectively spent millions on TV before that point.
The point is used to further the argument that Edwards is super-strong in Iowa after spending four years cultivating Iowans.
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