- The Washington Times - Friday, December 5, 2003

Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean yesterday announced his move to buy 30 minutes of airtime on the cheap for a evening television program to be shown tomorrow in Madison, Wis.

The $2,100 ad is the first of its kind by the Dean campaign, but not an original idea — millionaire H. Ross Perot did the same in the 1992 presidential election. Dean Campaign Manager Joe Trippi said the spot is being used as a test to see how the medium would play in gaining supporters.

It will air at 4:30 p.m. Central time.

“We are continuing with our 50-states strategy because we believe this is the only way to beat Bush in November,” Mr. Trippi said in a conference call with reporters yesterday.

“This is another idea that came from one of our Internet supporters, and the idea … is not to move votes but to encourage people to sign up and support the campaign, and it was interesting so we decided to try it.”

The ad will feature a biographical piece about Mr. Dean’s experiences as a family physician and as the governor of Vermont. The program will also include interviews with supporters of the Dean campaign discussing issues.

Wisconsin is known as a progressive state and is one that Mr. Dean wants to maintain for Democrats — presidential candidate Al Gore won the state in 2000 by fewer than 6,000 votes. But the cost was also a factor, Mr. Trippi said.

“It [the 30-minute-time slot] was affordable in that state. We like to try things out first and see if we can expand it and it doesn’t make sense for us to go to a really expensive market like Seattle first,” he said.

If the ad works, the next state to see the half-hour segment will most likely be Washington, but the campaign will determine that at a later date.

On Monday the Dean campaign will be up and running with operations in South Carolina and New Mexico, which will run through both states’ Feb. 3 primaries.

“Within the next seven to 10 days we will go up in Arizona and Oklahoma. Those two we also intend to stay up in through the elections there with our grassroots resources,” Mr. Trippi said.

The campaign will then attack the remaining states with primaries in the first week of February — Missouri and North Dakota, and Delaware in January.

Sen. Joe Lieberman will also step up his advertising, but only in New Hampshire, with a half-hour television event that comes with a $300,000 price tag.

The campaign said the senator will host an unedited town hall forum in New Hampshire to be taped Thursday and aired at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13, on five Boston television stations, which cover a majority of New Hampshire.

“It’s only fitting that Joe Lieberman will be the first to hold a televised town hall forum in New Hampshire because he has a unique and powerful way of connecting with Granite Staters,” said Lieberman’s New Hampshire-based press secretary Kristin Carvell.

Mr. Dean is leading in the state with 42 percent, according to a poll done by Zogby this week. Mr. Lieberman had the support of 7 percent of those polled.

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