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Marianne Paskowski

Critics Cotton to Obama’s Infomercial

October 30, 2008 8:09 AM

By and large media critics praised Sen. Barack Obama’s 30-minute infomercial that ran last night on CBS, Fox, BET, Univision, MSNBC and TVOne at an estimated cost of $3.5 million to $5 million.

Count me among those who found the time spent watching as a refreshing reminder of why this country needs a change.

It was a well-coordinated plea to appeal to the middle-class viewer who is caught in the middle of this economic mess, aimed squarely at everyone from voters facing retirement to younger voters who had just lost their jobs.

Most refreshing was the fact that Obama took the high road, unlike his opponent, Sen. John McCain, who accused Obama of already measuring the White House windows for new drapes.

That’s a snarky comment that McCain has repeated often as the gap between the candidates widens, in favor of Obama.

My question is, if Obama were indeed so cocky about winning the race, why would he spend the money on this steep-priced infomercial?


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Comments (24)

David Cohen:

Fear of hanging chads?

Marianne Paskowski:

Absolutely! Early ratings are now coming in for Obama's infomercial, and it did better than regularly scheduled programming, m

The pre-produced and live segments were matched well. A solid investment of time, effort, money with a positive result in impact, and, for all available reports, at this thirteen hundred, (EDT) hour Thursday, a substantial audience.

Five days ahead of Election Day, here are my few concerns:

A) That the Pre-Election Votes will not get lost, mis-counted, or the results leaked.

B) That State and Local Board of Elections will not be successful in deterring voters, or disqualifying voters due to some hokey-pokey shenanigans.

C) That the various networks will be responsible about their Results/Predictions Tuesday so that the ENTIRE country completes voting ahead of their insatiable scramble to be "First" with a result.

Recalling the chant at Chicago, 1968, "THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING".

Democracy, as a practice and a theory, is on trial for many would-be nations and societies.

If we screw this up like we did in Florida 2000, the repercusions are larger than ever.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:

You could argue we screwed it up in 2004 when Kerry didn't demand a recount in Ohio.

My husband was their campaigning, and there was plenty rotten in Denmark back then.

I'm hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst...m

G. Jones:

How about those rating?

Some of the talking heads on cable are putting it at about 26 million viewers-- they only mentioned the English language viewership.

I haven't heard a word about the additional 3.6 million viewers from Univision. They were in Fast Nationals-- but I haven't heard anyone add them into the mix. A viewer is a viewer and a potential voter in my mind.

I can't wait to see the Nationals for the cable network piece of the audience.

G. Jones

Marianne Paskowski:

G. Jones,
Trying to get this confirmed, but I'm now hearing 30 million!

Glad to see that viewers care about what's at stake here. Thanks for your post, and welcome to the blog, m


The interesting thing is he got a 30 share in the broadcast networks and nbc, cbs and fox all outperformed ABC.

Marianne Paskowski:


Well, ABC blew that gamble. Obama's semi-roadblock buy worked, and was far cheaper and more effective and campaigning all over the country.

Money well spent. I had my doubts at first about the format, but it was extremely well done.

P. Bond:

I'm not sure Mr. Obama is so cocky about winning the race...he looks self-assured, but I suspect he's smart enough to know when he's acting and when he's sincere. If only we, the voters, did.
I, for one, am much more concerned about his behaviour after the election...
But I agree, Mr. Obama is very accomplished at appearing Presidential, even if his resume is a bit thin. I only hope that if he is elected, he learns quickly that while waffling during a campaign may be overlooked by many, waffling from the Oval Office has been proven to be suicidal, in terms of political capital.


Your reference to Ohio 2004 is a good one.

I grew up in Cincinnati and close to the Taft, Republican hierarchy in the fifties. (My adult alliances are far different today).

Ever since the days of Governor James Rhodes, the Ohio Republicans across much of the state, particularly Columbus to Cleveland, have taken on a strange, "we know what's right for everyone" mentality. We all know that that same frontal lobe preoccupation of "we're right-you're wrong", and "we'll do ANYTHING to empower our people", has taken hold in pockets across Lady Liberty"s Land. Just look at all the dirty dealings around Florida November-December, 2000.

In it's infantcy, this thinking played a part in Rhodes sending the National Guard to Kent State, May of 1970, (there were many other factors on that horrific occurance, but "we're right-you're wrong" played a part).

I hope that we as a nation can get back to nurturing Mother Liberty and our Bill of Rights through all the forthcoming challenges, both foreign and domestic.

This grabbing for power at any price, disguised as American, is tearing at the fiber of our Constitution.

What happened to honest differing of opinions and open talks to a resolution?

Let us not forget the lessons from ANIMAL FARM.
Keep an open eye on the wall of the barn. Some members of the barnyard are normal little piggies, but the ones with fresh paint between their toes, are most likely swine.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:

P. Bond,

I grew up on the south side of Chicago, years ago, and he has done a fabulous job, against all odds, of uniting black and white communities in the most racially divided place I have ever lived in my life.

I don't think he's cocky or elitist, just smart enough to analyze the facts and act according.

However, we all know what candidates say they want to do and how the actual politics boil down after an election are two different animals.

Thanks for dropping by, m

Marianne Paskowski:

Thanks for the history of Ohio, a state I still worry about even with the new leadership there.

Couldn't believe Bush won in 2000, let alone 2004. The last political race, he won largely on national security issues.

In 2004, Kerry just blew it. Like I said before, I can't believe he didn't demand a recount. He probably knows more than what we do and saw what happened to Gore in 2000.

Maybe he was right. But today, with all of the comparisons to the Great Depression, what was great about it, people's headsets are totally zeroed in on the economy.

So the countdown begins. I'm predicting this will be a very close race. When I look at the lawn signs on Cape Cod, supposedly the bastion of liberals, but really independents (50 percent) it's about fifty/fifty.

Worse yet, people are stealing Obama signs. Worse, some folks have signs for Kerry or several local Dem candidates, but not Obama.

I'm afraid racism lives, m


Hey M,
Since I already voted, I didn't waste my time. I watched Pushing Daisies instead and helped one of
TV's best shows you're not watching a season high!

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jason,

Wish I could vote early on the spit of sand, glad you did. I know, I have to give Pushing Daises, a chance, thanks for the nudge, m


Why did he do it? Because he had the money to. He can't finish the election with money left over. He's gotta spend it somewhere. He is even buying ads in markets where he doesn't have a shot.

I agree with what you said about ABC. Pushing Daisies did horrible in my market against the Obamamercial.

Marianne Paskowski:

Well you never know. Read somewhere today that Palin is actually pulling down the GOP ticket. And it makes sense, to me, for Obama to spend in swing states or states where voters are still uncommitted.

In another headline one out of seven voters said they could change their minds by Nov. 4.

Happy Halloween!


Jeff Mulligan:


No surprise, therefore, that many conservatives--the thoughtful ones at least--credit Obama with having taste, style, and devastatingly effective campaigning talent. They recognize that they don't have to buy into his specific solutions in order to admire his skills.


Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jeff,

Don't get too carried away here, re Obama's TV ratings. If the statistic is correct that 57 percent of voters say they are conservative, that must mean for Obama to get those TV ratings, many of the conservative vote might be on the fence, or are at least open to hearing from the other side before they cast their votes on Tuesday.

Thanks for your post, m

Thanks for your post, m

Raptor Ron:

What a massive waste of money on liberal drivel! I was shocked to see the ratings, but, on reflection, I realize they were really caused by curiosity. People can say one thing to pollsters, but they really don't know anything about Obama, so they tuned in to see what he's all about.

All theviewers got was more liberal junk. No recognition that pinkos, Muslims and folks like Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Harold Ford (get my drift?) ruined this economy, created Al Queda, and whine about healthcare.

The Bible tells us to watch out for people with "funny" ethnicity. It's so tragic that Americans don't know that and instead coddle people who aren't authentically American.

Raptor Ron

Marianne Paskowski:

Yes. People are trying hard to educate themselves about the most important election in probably our lifetime, as they should.Hence the high ratings. And I'm glad to see that.

However, be respectful and listen and learn. I've seen all the ugly emails that paint Obama as a Muslim who is going to ruin or blow up the country.

I don't buy into that BS, and McCain is just four more years of Bush, to me. And for Sara P, she's not ready.

The Wordsmith:

What Bible is Raptor talking about? I thought there was only one, but I guess not.

Maybe the page about watching "out for people with 'funny' ethnicity" got torn out mine...or something.

You think?

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Wordsmith,
How about that Raptor, shocking people think that way, but some do, as evidenced by Raptor's inane rantings.

That's what worries me about this election, and apparently you, too, Wordsmith, thanks for your post, m

Andy S.:

"The Bible tells us to watch out for people with "funny" ethnicity. It's so tragic that Americans don't know that and instead coddle people who aren't authentically American."

How many of those "authentic" Americans are depicted in the Bible? Last time I looked, pretty much everybody in there was someone of "funny" ethnicity.

Marianne Paskowski:


Yikes, don't get me started about the Bible. It's just an allegory and not handed down from some higher power.

I remember reading in the "bible" that men fornicated with sheep when women were having their periods and thus "unclean," also covered in "The Red Tent," where women where relegated at that time of the month.

Guess we've come a long way, but maybe not, given some of the comments up here.

Thanks for a voice of sanity, m

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