Freedom Watch links big buy to Iraq report


A major advertising campaign is slated for a five week run with the goal of solidifying support for President George W. Bush’s Iraq policies. The campaign is timed to the mid-September progress report due from Gen. David Petraeus, and will utilize a broad mix of media including television, cable, radio and the internet. Cash for the buy is coming from major conservative campaign donors, some with ties to Bush. However, many of the districts included in the campaign are home to Republican legislators, particularly moderate whose support for the Iraq was has been wavering. Iowa is one of the states included in the buy, meaning that there could be implications for the presidential race as well, with the state’s lead-off caucuses likely scheduled for early January 2008 or even late December 2007. An antiwar group has analyzed the placement of the campaign and finds that they are also being run in locations where Republican legislators who support Bush policy have been under attack by advertising from antiwar organizations.

RBR observation: This would appear to be the sort of political advertising that the Supreme Court just gave the thumbs up. It is certainly about a serious issue before the American public, but the ads are just as clearly being used with an eye to who is holding elective office in the targeted areas. This particular campaign would not have been restricted by McCain-Feingold, since it is not scheduled in the run-up to an election. But it provides a refresher in the kind of advertising that may be competing with candidate material in the weeks leading up to Election Day.