Barack Obama’s marathon ad buy left out one figure that’s loomed over the campaign: Hillary Clinton. The warm, fuzzy, half-hour long advertisement featured interviews from prominent Democratic senators and governors, mainly from battleground states. The video included Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, as well as Sen. Dick Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois. But there was no sign of the junior senator from New York, one of the party’s most powerful figures.
Could it be the Obama campaign chose to keep Clinton out of sight and out of mind to avoid picking at still-healing primary battle scars? Or has he been able to woo over these former Clintonites enough that he didn’t need to throw them a bone? Was the Obama camp also hoping to avoid riling up animosity from anti-Clinton conservatives, who chafe at her name?
There had been some talk of both Clinton and her husband, Bill, appearing on stage for the live portion of the video, however, the couple was not shown during the speech and the networks cut immediately to regular programming after the buy.
Update: Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro just sent comment, though he did not directly address the question of the Clintons.
“The program shared the specifics of Obama’s plans to turn the economy around and get the country back on track,” Shaprio said via email. “With this historic election only a week away – and John McCain’s angry, desperate attacks mounting by the day – we wanted to make sure every voter heading into the voting booth knew exactly what Barack Obama would do to bring about fundamental change as president. It’s the same case our campaign is making on the phone, on doorsteps and in our conservations with voters every day. Obama will turn the page on George Bush’s failed economic policies and provide the real relief the middle class needs right now.”
Update: later in the evening, Bill Clinton appeared with Obama onstage in Florida, where they both praised each other warmly. However, this appearance is of course not the same as taking part in the prime-time, paid slot.
Here’s the full pre-shot ad (not including the live segment following):