The general election has begun! And so has the onslaught of campaign ads. Which ones succeed? Which fail? In Ad Watch, we review them as they come out. Today: President Obama's campaign tries to fire up supporters by reminding them of all that's happened since 2008 while Mitt Romney argues that all that's happened in the last four years shows Obama isn't the guy he promised to be.
The Ad: Barack Obama, "Forward."
The Issues: Obama's three years in office: were they productive or not?
The Message: The first three minutes of the ad show the severity of the financial crisis -- NBC News' Brian Williams calling it the "worst financial collapse since the Great Depression," Alan Greenspan saying it's a "once in a century type of event" -- and then all the things Obama did to try to fix it. Then comes the part that supposed to give the video tension -- evil Republicans saying "no" to everything all the time -- and it's pretty short. It seems like the ad's creators couldn't decide whether to argue that Obama couldn't get all the stuff done that he wanted to because Republicans were obstructionist or that Obama got a ton of things done. There's a big emphasis on social issues -- the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, "contraception coverage guaranteed," equal pay for women. "While there's still more to do there's been real progress," the narrator says.